How often do you need to update your system?

Greetings! :smiley: Do you need to update your system frequently? Because i have to study and don’t have time to update the system everyday. If no, is it bad for the system?

There is no absolute right answer here but this question gets asked pretty often so if you search around a bit you can probably find a wealth of opinions on it.

You don’t have to update every day but the longer you wait the updates can become more complicated and error prone. You will also be missing out on important security updates.

I would recommend updating at least once every 1-2 weeks.

Lastly, welcome to the forums!


1x per month is minimum recommendation. As @dalto suggested 1-2 weeks is more than sufficient for users IMO. You surely don’t have to update daily.

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Ok, i think i will update the system once a week if i have time, Thanks for the answer!


Welcome to the forum :partying_face: :tada: :balloon:


Yea, that will work and if it breaks you can always make the time. :rofl:
That’s what I do and it doesn’t break so what ever… It is wise to look at the Arch linux home page with Latest news and Recent Updates side .

Just a heads-up as to what might dip into your free time. :wink:

…and glad to see ya.


First, welcome.

Second, searching the forum first can be more effective, these types of questions get asked quite a lot.

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This could be the best advice of the whole thread.

Check the Arch news to make sure there’s no bulletin or manual intervention needed. While it’s not 100% - since this could be the update that breaks something, it is quite rare.


On the flip side of everyone, if you update daily, at least it’s usually a very quick affair and if something suddenly breaks you know that one of that very small number of packages is responsible for it. The average daily update for me in about 15 seconds, unless it has to rebuild the kernel. I can make that much time daily in a terminal window…


There’s an app in the AUR called archnews that lets you read the news in the terminal. I install it and then use alias cu="archnews -br && checkupdates && yay -Qua" so that when I type cu I get the three most recent news items (just title and links) plus a list of all my available repo updates (from checkupdates) and another of AUR updates (from yay). That way I know what I’m dealing with at a glance.


Whenever I have at least 3 hours to myself in case shit hits the fan. So usually in the weekends.

I have very seldom had an update break anything important. I might have to spend a few minutes resolving a conflict on occasion. And I don’t think I’ve thrown up my hands in despair and simply reinstalled the system in quite a number of years. Most breakages are pretty easy to deal with, especially when you pretty much know what’s broken.
That’s why you have more then one distro on your system, and boot into it while doing research as to what went wrong on the other partition ? :slight_smile:


i read somewhere that running sudo pacman -Syu and declining the updates (pressing n) is the same as doing sudo pacman -Sy, which is a partial upgrade and is considered harmful. is running checkupdates any safer if i’m not sure i want to update at the moment?

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Yes, running checkupdates is entirely safe. That’s what it’s for.

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Everytime EOS-update-notifier gives a alert hahaha.


It is true that running sudo pacman -Syu and declining the updates has the same effect of refreshing the local package database, just like running sudo pacman -Sy. By itself, that is not dangerous as long as you update before installing any new packages. What is dangerous is refreshing the local package database and then installing something without having updated (with -Su) first – that is what is known as “partial update” scenario, and may cause breakage if newer packages get installed while the dependencies remain old. So this is bad:

sudo pacman -Sy      # refreshes the local package db
sudo pacman -S something    # installs a new package on an outdated system: bad!

This is why it is never recommended to run sudo pacman -Sy (or to answer no, when running sudo pacman -Syu), because you may forget that your local package database is refreshed and install something new before you updated. But if you update immediately after, like this:

sudo pacman -Sy      # refreshes local package database
sudo pacman -Su      # updates the system
sudo pacman -S something   # now that's okay

that is perfectly safe, and completely equivalent to sudo pacman -Syu.

With checkupdates script, there is nothing to worry about, as it creates a copy of the local package database in a fakeroot environment and refreshes that, so nothing on your system actually changes. The proof for that is obvious: checkupdates does not need elevated privileges, unlike pacman -Sy which will not work without sudo.

That is why you should always use checkupdates if there is a chance you might not want to update, but want to check what updates are available.

But in most cases, there is no point in checking whether there are any updates available because on an Arch system, unless you just updated, there are always updates available.


thanks for the elaborate answer. i’m not new to rolling releases but since i’m closer to arch now than what i used to be i still have to learn to stop fearing the updates. :slight_smile:

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One more thing, I was just wondering, what would happen if you typed pacman -Syyyyyyyyyuuuuuuuu instead of -Syyu? Because the more “y” and “u” the more better right? :smiley:

May I suggest that if you try it, it be on a VM? First cut at a guess would be that it might recognize it as -Syyuu, which would sync things up, and allow downgrades (not done lightly, and should only be used with the archives and for a reason). Of course, it might just blow things up REAL good!

I don’t have a convenient VM to test with, though…

First, on pretty much every Arch-based distro except Manjaro, you don’t need to use -Syyu, -Syu is sufficient.

Second, the answer to your question is it will forcibly refresh your package databases, enable downgrades and update your system.