Automating Upgrades

For the most part, the tools described in this chapter so far are useful for installing and managing packages that you obtain in some other way. (One partial exception is dselect, which actually uses APT, described in "Maintaining Debian with APT.") The problem with this approach is that these tools cannot, by themselves, keep your system up to date. It's often desirable or even necessary to maintain at least some packages at the latest available versions. Several tools have been developed to help automate the software upgrade process. Examples include Debian's APT, Red Hat's Update Agent, and SuSE's YaST. Most of these tools are distribution-specific, although a version of Debian's APT has been developed to work with RPMs. No matter which of these tools you use, you should be aware of the potential risks they pose, as well as their substantial benefits.

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