What is the Difference between Apt-get Upgrade and Update?

The other day I asked myself, What is the difference between apt-get update and apt-get upgrade?

As I'm sure many other people, at some point may ask the same, I thought I would share the answer. Quite simply,

  • apt-get update - updates the list of available packages, and their versions. However it does NOT upgrade or install any packages.
  • apt-get upgrade - installs  a newer version of the packages that you currently have installed.

Tags: Ubuntu, Apt-get

About the Author


R Donato

Rick Donato is the Founder and Chief Editor of He currently works as an SDN/NFV Solutions Architect and has a keen interest in automation and the cloud.

You can find Rick on Twitter @f3lix001