How to Reboot Less but Update Often

Over the past several months, I’ve been needing to reboot almost every time I run an update. That didn’t seem to be the case 6-9 months ago, but maybe my memory is shoddy. While some folks have no problems with rebooting, I find it to be a major PITA. I have 20+ browser tabs to save and reopen, code editor, terminals, spotify, etc., all of which need a tweak or two to be running well after a reboot. Not to mention 2 passwords to enter. Rebooting is a slow, not enjoyable process, even with i3 running a script to launch various apps at startup (which brings up a good question for another topic).

I want to keep updating often, but do I really need to update qemu and it’s 40 packages every day? Or the LTS kernel, why does it need an update 3-5 times each week?

So, how can I:

  1. Selectively update? Is there a method for segregating the packages that require a reboot, and then updating less often? Could I add several to ignorepkg in pacman.conf, and then at a later date OVERRIDE the “ignorepkg” somehow?

  2. Is there any way to know which packages require a reboot?

  3. Any other thoughts and suggestions?

Thank you all very much!!! Peace!!!

No. Partial updates are not at all supported/recommended in Arch at all.

Generally things that run the system. IE kernel, mesa, etc

Just update once a week or two or even once a month.


Update only when you have time to reboot.
Use lessons learned, it seems when major libraries like libc are updated, reboot immediately. Linux kernel (well depends on your usage of modules), but in general reboot soon. Desktop environment like plasma, plan to reboot soon.
Otherwise, let it be unless you notice it causes you a problem.


Have a look at the discussion in this thread and the solution:

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Why? The solution to your problem is updating once a week, preferably on the weekend when you have time to reboot. Also, reboot is recommended only on mandatory system packages, just keep a look on what packages are being updated when you’re getting those notifications.


Hmmm… Two quick replies saying the same thing: Update less often. Good advice!! Simple, and somewhat obvious??

I’ve been updating often as I read a post on this forum a while back suggesting updating every few days. But I’ve gone easily a week with no updates, and rarely was there anything “wrong” that needed fixing. Sometimes, as you suggest, I have noticed issues, and been chomping at the bit for the developer to release an update. But generally, no issues.

Thank you and @fbodymechanic for the solid advice. Have a good one!

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As I mentioned in my other reply, I was taking someone’s suggestions for updating a bit too rigidly. You are correct, update less often. Yes, kinda obvious, I have to admit. LOL Thank you!!

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I wrote something to help folks like you who may not know exactly what they want yet. This should help.


I have your very excellent Guide bookmarked!! I was literally reading the first few paragraphs just now to see if that’s where I got the idea that I needed to update frequently. And sure enough, it IS, because I read TOO QUICKLY and didn’t take in what you suggested. Namely:

(a) Keep updated
maintenance schedule - as frequently as you would like. From several times a day to at least once every other week (in my opinion)

So guess how I read that? Yup, update all the damn time!! I completely glossed over “to at least every other week” and didn’t think. Ugh. Lesson learned.

It really is a fantastic guide to maintenance. I need to re-read and see what else I forgot or misread.

Thanks again!!!


The point of his advise is not to update every 15 seconds, but rather not let it pile into months, because that’s when breakages tend to occur. A weekly interval would be fine, I am an update bunny and I do it several times a day usually.
I mean what if I’m running a version of LibreOffice that’s fiveteen minutes out of date, the HORRORS!



Two of my favorite apps for note taking both had major updates in the past year that broke a large amount of custom theming I had obsessed over to satisfy my visual sensibilities. The one I still use, Obsidian, is now in pacman.conf under IgnorePkg and auto-updates turned off. :grimacing:

I’m now looking for a simple markdown editor that looks good. Not easy!!



Think of it this way:

Any update is only finished after the system is rebooted.

In other words, before you reboot, consider your system in a state of partial update.

That’s the theory, now in practice, you don’t have to reboot right away, even if your kernel is updated – the old kernel will happily continue to be loaded in memory and you might not notice anything different. Just keep in mind that you are in a state of partial update, so there might be issues with the new version of processes (those loaded in memory after the update) running alongside the old version of other processes (those still loaded in memory since before the update). This is mostly true for dependencies, if you have a version mismatch between a package and its dependency, who knows what might go wrong. Any such issue will be fixed after you reboot, since rebooting forces all processes to start anew.

What you should not do is post on the forum about such issues, before rebooting first and testing if they are still present.


there is also the option to install kernel-modules-hook
if you don’t want to break uptime status,
but for the desktop user is a reboot, not a problem, done like
in 2 Minutes.

My EOS is on a USB SDD hooked to a i5 4670k that I keep in Sleep/Suspend mode when not actively using it. I only use it for PS4 gaming on the couch, and thus have a number of Chrome tabs open all the time to avoid losing my place. Just before I start a gaming session, I wake the machine and let all the notifications catch up and lapse, and the last notification is to update. I then run the update and reboot without closing my Chrome tabs. About 7 seconds later, I’m back on the Plasma desktop. I launch Chrome, input the keyring password, and 50% of the time it detects an improper shutdown and if I want to restore previous tabs, and I have it do so. The other 50% of the time, I do this manually by going to my History → Recently Closed and restore all the tabs from there.

The OP doesn’t tells us whether or not he’s running an SSD … :wink:

500GB SATA and USB SSDs are dirt cheap now - sometimes less than $50!

For browser tab control I recommend a tab organizer. Here are two two that I use.



I believe you can also use the browser’s builtin cloud profile sync bit haven’t tried that myself

Maybe a stupid question, but before I install new software I always run sudo pacman -Syu first, and often that involves an updated kernel and reboot. Is it necessary to update my system or could I just update the package list (not upgrade them) and install my software safely?

I mean, my preference is to update my whole system once a week on Fridays when I have time to fix in case something goes bonkers. I generally don’t reboot the whole week, my laptop goes between suspend and wake mode. But sometime I need to install a piece of software and don’t really want to reboot my system.

You absolutely shouldn’t do that. It will put you in a partial update situation.

If you don’t want to reboot immediately, that is usually OK but don’t install software on a not updated system after updating the package database.

If you must do this, the safe way is to not update your database and install the version that matches.

Thanks for confirming! That’s (updating system before software install) something I adopted since using eos. Previously on buntu I think the apt commands may confuse less experience users.

I used to run sudo apt update and then install my software. And once in a while sudo apt dist-upgrade. Guess that was bad practice back then.

On a normal Ubuntu or debian install that is fine because library versions are stable between releases.