How To Stop Installing Updates Automatically On Ubuntu Or Debian (Unattended Upgrades)

Debian and Ubuntu based Linux distributions can automatically install the latest security (and others) updates with the use of a package named unattended-upgrades.

This unattended-upgrades package is installed by default on Ubuntu (but not on Linux Mint for example) and Debian 9+ with Gnome, and while it's a nice feature to have, quite a few users complain about it and the Microsoft Windows-like behavior of installing updates with no input from the user. Especially when you want to shutdown or reboot your system while in a hurry, and you get this:

Ubuntu unattended-upgrade in progress

This is the case not only for Ubuntu with Gnome, but other Ubuntu flavors as well, including Kubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, and so on.

As a side note, if you force a shutdown / reboot while installing updates, your computer may fail to boot into Ubuntu / Debian, and apt will probably get broken, showing the E: Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock or E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'sudo dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem errors.

Those wanting to get rid of this behavior of automatically installing updates on Ubuntu or Debian 9+ with Gnome, have 2 options: remove the unattended-upgrades or configure it so it does not install updates automatically.

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