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Linux Mint to now ensure you update your distro on time

New features are coming to your desktop distro.
New features are coming to your desktop distro. (Linux Mint)

Linux Mint is not going to let you push back on important updates any more with its smart update notifications.

Linux Mint’s latest release comes with a whole bunch of changes including a significant one to the Update Manager. This new feature is going to remind uses to keep their installations updated. Clement Lefebvre, the developer of Linux Mint, earlier this year, had expressed concerns about how users ignore security updates and explore their installations, that are connected to the internet, to all sorts of risk. This new feature on the distro is going to make sure users do not do that any longer.

Linux Mint does not collect or relay any telemetry data, as the latest server update shows. But Lefebre stated that only 30% of users update their distros in less than a week and a sizable percentage of users are still running outdated versions of the distro that stopped getting security updates in 2019. Also, updating the installation does not take long but the update manager has been tuned to better convey the update notifications when they come in. Earlier the updates were shown by a little orange dot on the Update Manager icon in the system tray that often gets overlooked by users.

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“In Linux Mint 20.2 the Update Manager is now able to remember how long each update has been available for, how many days the computer was ON during that time and assess whether or not a notification would be welcome to remind you of available updates,” Lefebvre wrote in the release notes of the 20.2 release.

The Update Manager will now show a notification if a particular update has been available for more than seven days that the user has logged in or if it is older than 15 calendar days. This is going to happen by default going forward. These values are configurable and can be tuned by the user down to two days to up to three months. These notifications will also only be displayed for security and kernel updates by default, and this too is configurable.

Also, to not inundate the user with notifications, the new notification update has a “grace period setting” as well. This by default is configured to mute notifications if an update has not been applied over the last 30 days. This ideally means users will be updating their installation once every month but that still makes it better than running outdated installations.

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