christoph ender's

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saturday the 23rd of march, 2024

apt: packages kept back

Some day, when applying upgrades with the apt command line interface, the tool might state that

The following packages have been kept back:
  <package-name-01> <package-name-02> …

indicating that same updates are available, but won't be installed. Why?

One of the more common causes is that an upgrade for an already installed package requires the installation of an additional package. However, by default apt will not install additional packages or remove anything during an upgrade operation. This behavior can be changed by running

apt-get --with-new-pkgs upgrade

It's also possible to run apt-get dist-upgrade instead, this kind of action might however do more than originally expected, since it tried to resolve conflicts and might remove some packages in order to reach it's goal.