Security is important. One way to ensure that your server is secure is to install updates. Sometimes, an important update is available (i.e OpenSSL, Heartbleed) but you are not being notified and your server will still be vulnerable.

One way to prevent that is to start to be notified when updates are available. Apticron is the way to go.

Apticron

Configuration

On an Ubuntu server, type the following command to install apticron :

sudo apt-get install apticron  

You will also need sendmail installed to received emails. If you do not have sendmail yet, you can install it by doing so :

sudo apt-get install sendmail  
sudo sendmailconfig  
sudo service apache2 restart  

Then modify the file /etc/apticron/apticron.conf and type your email address

# apticron.conf
#
# set EMAIL to a space separated list of addresses which will be notified of
# impending updates
#
EMAIL="youremail@domain.com"

### more...

Up and running

To try apticron right now to test if it is working, use the following command :

sudo /usr/sbin/apticron  

If there are any updates available, Apticron will send you an email.

Apticron is already set up for cronjob, it will be executed everyday and will not send you duplicate emails. To modify its behavior, you can edit the file /etc/cron.d/apticron.

For more information you can read the man page.

Screenshot


Example of an email I received using Apticron