apt-dater provides an ncurses interface for managing package updates of multiple hosts.

One master host needs access via ssh to each managed node. Each managed host contains a simple perl-based agent (apt-dater-host).

cron-apt is a good companion for apt-dater - it sends mail notification for pending package updates.

Optionally you may use vi-like navigation (hjkl) for moving around.


Master host

  1. aptitude install apt-dater

  2. create a config file listing all managed nodes (.config/apt-dater/hosts.conf):


Managed hosts

  1. aptitude install --without-recommends apt-dater-host

    • sudo is part of apt-dater-host recommendations - probably you do not need it


The following steps will ease your first run of apt-dater. Later everything will feel easy and intuitive.

  1. run apt-dater on the master host

  2. the program automatically connects to all listed managed hosts (see config file above) - see the status bar at the bottom of the screen
  3. wait until the list In refresh is empty

  4. hosts are now grouped according to their status
  5. verify the hosts below unknown: press e for further information about their failure (see the bar at the top of the screen)

  6. go through the details of the hosts to be updated (Updates pending)



apt-dater keeps track of all previous operations by storing the screen logs. This is a useful feature for cooperative server administration (if used consistently).

  1. press H for a host

  2. choose any of the previous sessions and press L for a quick review or p for an entertaining terminal show


apt-dater also helps to keep your hosts' packages in a clean state:

apt-dater (zuletzt geändert am 2015-04-18 13:48:07 durch anonym)

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