To Reboot or Not Reboot, That Is The Question

Greetings lovely community,

I’ve noticed with certain package updates (systemd, kernel, nvidia, etc.) that a reboot is usually required in order for your system to be using those new package updates. But it got me wondering in regards to packages you use in the terminal (e.g. sudo, pacman, yay, etc.), when those packages get updated, do I need to close and reopen my terminal window for those new package updates to be used? Or could I just continue using the same terminal window that I updated in?

Normally when I get an update to sudo, pacman, or yay, I just close and reopen my terminal and assume then that I’m using the newly updated packages. But perhaps I don’t need to do that or? I would appreciate any insight into this matter. I know it’s a small thing, but something I’ve always been wondering about.

My guess would be no. You usually still load the updated binary. But overall it obviously is case dependent and some things might need a restart.

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Unless a program stays resident in-memory, the update should take effect instantly.


It shouldn’t need to be said (but I’m gonna say it), but resident in memory pretty much means still running…so anytime the kernel, desktop environment, libraries are updated, you should reboot. Otherwise funny things can happen. If in doubt, just reboot, it only takes seconds.
Though everyone else is right. :slight_smile:


I try to reboot at least once a day. Not necessarily after an update, if everything seems to be working fine.

Even if you have a kernel update, the old kernel is still running and chances are everything will continue to work. It is somewhat of a “partial update” situation until you reboot (for example glibc, can be a newer version than the kernel currently running), but most of the time it’s nothing significant. It’s not like syscalls get changed with every version of the kernel :sweat_smile:

Back when I was still using PulseAudio, I noticed on one occasion that, after an update and before rebooting I had no audio. My first idea was to reboot, and since that solved the problem, I haven’t bothered looking into it in more details. That’s pretty much the only instance when I noticed in practice an update needing a reboot. I’ve updated a thousand times since, probably. I also vaguely remember there being a few forum posts where the solution was to reboot…

I don’t think any permanent damage can be done by not rebooting in time. If something does not work because it needed a reboot, and you wait with rebooting, it should still work fine once you do reboot. I can’t think of any reason why that wouldn’t be the case. And while I could easily intentionally make a program that broke if you didn’t reboot within 5 minutes of updating it, I don’t think it’s very likely one could do that by accident.


Boot is BLOAT.

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