There is an old saying “if it ain’t broke then don’t try to fix it”. This is great until it comes to anything with a chip in it. Computers need updating no matter what size they are. The great thing with Raspbian is that any little problems and security holes tend to get fixed quickly. Unlike Windows, OSX or many other operating systems, unless you set up a cron task, it doesn’t update by itself.
This is a bit of a mixed blessing. On the one hand you don’t get that shock when you boot up and everything has changed or you have to wait for it to chug through finishing off an update. On the other, it means that your Raspberry Pi may not be up to date. This can cause a problem when using the latest I/O cards or certain software and of course, if there are any security holes they may not be patched up until you update.
Maybe you are using a new installation or maybe its been a few months since you last updated. Whichever it is, it may be worth running the commands below.
Updating can take around 30-60 minutes depending on when you last updated, the speed of your internet connection, what is updating, etc.
The usual reminder first. If you have done any programs or work that you don’t want to get deleted, now’s a good time to save it to an external hard drive or USB memory stick. Chances are that it will be fine and not effected by the update but if something happens during the update it could mean everything gets lost.
Now you have backed up all your important work, either boot up Raspbian in command prompt or open a command prompt window and type in the following:
sudo apt-get update and when that has finished
sudo apt-get upgrade
apt-get update updates the list of available packages and their versions, but it does not install or upgrade any packages.
apt-get upgrade actually installs newer versions of the packages you have. After updating the lists, the package manager knows about available updates for the software you have installed. This is why you first want to run the update command first.
Once this is done, you should now have a raspberry pi with all the latest updates for your installation.