Updates on Debian-based distros are supposed to be the result of apt-get upgrade command.

Upgrades are the "moving from version to next version" (next LTS or just next).

Are my above sentences wrong or right?

I think we have to find a common language and decide to use it here with this and only this way?

(If you think the question has to be deleted or closed, just do it... But I think I have to make it here)

  • Do you have any particular example of a confusion over this?
    – muru
    Aug 20, 2017 at 5:24
  • Here is one that probably was my problem: askubuntu.com/questions/947937/… But I think many users of the community have similar issues.
    – koleygr
    Aug 20, 2017 at 5:51
  • The solution is actually doing sudo apt autoremove whenever needed. Expanding /boot just delays the inevitable.
    – user692175
    Aug 20, 2017 at 11:07

1 Answer 1


In Debian based distros apt update updates the list of software versions available from the repository whilst apt upgrade installs the new versions. There's no confusion here if explained in context. I often use "release upgrade" to characterize the move from one Ubuntu release to the next in order to avoid the confusion some users have when presented with some answer/solution involving the arguably misleading dist-upgrade (the new recommended full-upgrade doesn't trigger the same problems).

The update/upgrade duality is problematic only when translating to other languages that don't make the distinction (Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, etc.). Likewise, in those languages it's very hard to distinguish between "ape" and "monkey" as their native equivalents are synonymous at a non-scientific level. Reason why I usually describe myself as an "European born African monkey" and many people take an issue why it. The same people usually accept "African ape" without further considerations. I don't care, I'm proud of my monkeyness.

In conclusion, I see no problem with the correct usage of update and upgrade in context and when English is the language used to communicate. And considering the commands don't change depending on the system's language its usage should be exactly the same in other languages but an explanation about the nuances may be required.

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