Sep 26, 2023 3 min read

Guide to Configure Automated Security Updates on Debian 11

Configure Automated Security Updates on Debian 11 with our step-by-step tutorial. Debian 11's Automated Security Updates protect your system.

Guide to Configure Automated Security Updates on Debian 11
Table of Contents


Before we begin talking about how to configure Automated Security Updates on Debian 11, let's briefly understand – What is an Automated Security Updates?

Automated Security Updates in Debian 11 provide a crucial layer of protection for your system. These updates are designed to automatically patch vulnerabilities, ensuring your system remains secure against emerging threats.

With Debian 11, you can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your software is constantly updated with the latest security fixes, effortlessly keeping your system protected. Stay ahead of hackers and safeguard your data with Debian 11's Automated Security Updates.

In this tutorial, you will configure Automated Security Updates on Debian 11. We will also address a few FAQs on how to configure Automated Security Updates on Debian 11.

Configure Automated Security Updates on Debian

On Debian 11, configuring unattended upgrades is a simple process that is doable through the terminal. However, to make sure the system is current before installing, execute the following command:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

To install or verify that the unattended upgrades have been installed on the Debian system, run the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt install unattended-upgrades

It comes pre-installed on Debian systems by default.

To check whether the unattended upgrades are functioning correctly or not, type the following command into the terminal:

sudo unattended-upgrades --dry-run --debug

Use the systemctl command to determine the status of Debian's unattended upgrades:

sudo systemctl status unattended-upgrades.service

Change the Configuration File of the Unattended Upgrades

Any text editor can be used to alter the configuration file. Here, we are opening the configuration file for the unattended upgrades using the nano:

sudo nano /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades

You can edit the file once it has been opened, and removing the // will make that function active.

Remove the // marks from the lines in the following part of the file to enable the updates:





Press "CTRL+X", "Y", and hit Enter to save the file.

Enable Unattended Upgrades on Debian 11

To enable unattended upgrades on your machine, you must configure the file. Hit Enter after typing the following command in the terminal:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure --priority=low unattended-upgrades

Your screen will display a pop-up; click Yes to enable Debian's unattended upgrades.

Note: It is preferable to restart the system to apply the automatic modifications to Debian.

Disable Unattended Upgrades on Debian 11

Although unattended upgrades are useful, you may disable them at any moment by running the following command again.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure --priority=low unattended-upgrades

When the following pop-up appears, click No to turn them off.

FAQs to Configure Automated Security Updates on Debian 11

How can I enable automated security updates on Debian 11? 

To enable automated security updates on Debian 11, you can use the unattended-upgrades package and configure it to install updates automatically.

Are automated security updates enabled by default in Debian 11? 

No, automated security updates are not enabled by default on Debian 11. You need to manually configure and enable them.

How often do automated security updates run? 

By default, automated security updates are scheduled to run once a day, but you can customize the frequency to suit your needs.

What types of updates are covered by automated security updates? 

Automated security updates cover security-related updates, including kernel patches, packages, and libraries that address known vulnerabilities.

Can I specify which packages to include or exclude from automated security updates? 

Yes, you can configure the packages you want to include or exclude from the automated security updates by modifying the configuration file.

Will automated security updates interfere with my system's stability? 

Debian's automated security updates are designed to prioritize stability. Security patches are thoroughly tested by Debian's security team before being released to minimize any disruption to your system.

How can I check if automated security updates are working on my Debian 11 system?

You can review the /var/log/unattended-upgrades/unattended-upgrades.log file to check the status and logs of automated security updates.


Configuring unattended upgrades is a useful feature in the Debian system that streamlines the process of installing updates by configuring unattended upgrades. This will assist them in keeping your system updated. Debian already has it installed; however, in order to ensure that the system updates automatically, you must set it up first and then enable its service.

If you have any queries or doubts, please leave them in the comment below. We'll be happy to address them.

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