How to update your Elive, the correct way

There's different ways of updating your Elive:

Suggestion: just reinstall newer versions in upgrade mode

  • elive-upgrader: This included and own tool takes care about everything, you don't even need to worry or use it, from time to time, your system will be updated with fixes and improvements
  • apug: This alias for terminal simply runs an upgrade from apt, if you want to get updates manually
    • tip: alternatively you can use: "elive-upgrader --upgrade"
  • reinstall (upgrade): some changes (improvements/fixes) cannot be included by "just updating packages", the installer includes many improvements too and probably there's much more put in the build version, for that: Download a new version of Elive, run the live mode, and reinstall, the upgrade mode of the installer will take care of everything keeping your users, its configurations and files, to make your life much easier
    • E16 desktop: it is suggested to "restart your desktop configurations" to get some improvements too
    • TIP: use the 'usb-bootable-elive' tool to download new versions of elive, the process is automated and reduces your network usage in a 90% thanks to zsync

Note: If the version of Elive changed too much, sometimes is suggested to do a new entirely clean installation and copy back your files to your new system & users

Note: It is technically possible to include more 'automated' features by just installing packages, but elive has a very fast development and this will require to sacrifice a lot of its efficiency, so the best option is the featured upgrade mode of the installer which automates everything


How to keep your own installed applications

The installer includes a special feature that allows you to always reinstall your wanted applications (packages) among upgrades, when the upgrade mode is performed, they are installed again

For that, you must add a list of wanted packages to this file:

sudo scite /etc/elive/packages_to_maintain_installed

This file is asked the first time you install Elive, and re-used (without asking) in future re-installs (upgrade mode)

Why do I need all this???

You don't need these things at all, Elive is a rolling release system just like debian and you can manage it in the same way, these described things are extra and unique features of Elive which nobody forces you to use, you don't need to, but if you want to enjoy of every extra Elive added feature in every version, you must understand how it works / how you can do it

In other OSes, you don't have default user settings, you have just the application, and even if its a bit preconfigured, you cannot update these configurations to your user. Also other systems doesn't feature a rich installer like the Elive one which takes care of upgrading your installed system saving your users, confs, files, and services, and of course not a migration feature which converts another OS to an Elive one

I may be have a question about UPGRADE

Do we have to " recreate our user/account" or not, just running the upgrade will be enough to get all new features ?

well, sometimes some things has updated configurations, like cairo-dock or the desktop itself, you should update them manually, if -such- feature would be included by default, the users will always find "their" modifications lost, which is less wanted than not touching them and having an old preconfiguration by elive

you should use "elive-skel upgrade" for them, and the restart-desktop-configurations for the desktop one


Is there a way to Upgrade them all at one time ?

Anyway the 3.7.4 will do it...Forget my question

yes there's a command meant for that, but im not sure that you really want to do that, so you can lose a lot of your confs, better to just select some ones

the tool could be improved by merging changes, but thats much more complex to develop

also the gui tool doesn't include the .config/(things), just the main dir itself

I will run the 3.7.4 upgrade later today
Will it upgrade everything ? I suppose yes

not most of "users confs" (like .config/cairo-dock), because user don't want to lose their confs, for that you need to use elive-skel

in the new versions you will miss the updates of cairo-dock
and mimetype associations:

elive-skel upgrade .local/share/applications/mimeapps.list

you can verify it later by opening a PDF file, it should be opened with the correct application

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I find it too complex for an normal user to know which component is responsable what

I will probably " reinstall / Upgrade " to get all the new benefit of your 3.7.5
But it's a bit painful to Upgrade everything, when we want the latest and greatest features and improvements.
But, there is no perfect world, distro :slight_smile:

yeah, that tool should be improved, thats more or less planned for the future, but i would like also to have a kind of "dynamic integration" (that will import the updated improvements without need to use a new conf), but that's much much more complex to reach :omfg:

i know, but there's only possible the actual different ways (which stills much better than in any other distro, because they simply don't have any such features, just plain new installs lol), which basically allows a user to "simply use the system", "update packages", "update more", "benefit of all the improvements" etc

yeah it could be possible in an ideal world, but the work needed for do it more automated (like an iphone update does) would require much more deep development which will sacrifice the entire progress of elive

@Thanatermesis so to get all the new improvement, I have 2 choices :

  • update all the components individually using elive-skel upgrade (forget it LOL )
  • Run the installer 3.7.5 in upgrade mode, I will keep my .congi folders but, will have to reinstall some application that will be missing ?

yeah but not all these confs are always updated, just sometimes some of them are updated... you must know that better from reading the changelog / changes from the updated versions to know if you should update any conf (if you want to benefit from the stated improvements or just continue using your system as previously)

this will upgrade the entire system, sometimes a few confs are included to upgrade (like cairo dock and e16 now), no other user configurations are changed, you should do that from elive-skel upgrade but as said, only if you want to restart them or use the updates (if they included any)

about reinstalling some applications that will be missing i dont understand what you mean, the reinstall of the system includes all the applications needed, but you have an own selected application you should add it to the list included on this FAQ howto (tips section)

I love my system.. Don't worry

But as for the upgrade process, it not that simple for users new to linux or inexperienced user.

And half-experienced or may be lazy people like me will simply wait for the final release at reinstall " again" to get all the new " tweaks and features"

it's ok... Just saying outloud how some " not too bad " linux users will find the upgrade process.

What I understand is :

  • if I want " all the new tweaks / improvements " I have to either upgrade the components that were improved, running elive-skel upgrade and choosing the right one from that list ( it is for technical people that know which components is doing what)


  • reinstall in Upgrade mode and in there. during installation, there will be a window, where I can list all the package I need in extra ( some of mine are not in the Debian Repo so I suppose I will have to reinstall them anyway manualy)

I prefer Linux 50 times to Windows

But upgrading WIndows keeping all our apps is " a lot user friendly " for non experienced users

Question :
What is that " you must know that better from reading the changelog / changes from the updated versions " ? Where is this ?

it cannot be more simpler

the upgrade is automated

(optinally) to benefit all the improvements, you could perform extra things, that's not a requeriment, users can stick to the version they downloaded just like in any other distro (and again, elive-upgrader includes updates automatically)

in short, other distros just lacks many features, customizations, automations that elive has... thats why they don't even have any of the included in elive updating details; just the simplest process of updating packages (software versions), which in elive, this is already included and automated without worries

in every version release announcement details

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After to read a few times in the forum things related to updating the system, and a few complains about these "extra needed procedures", I wanted to make clear that they are not "needed" and they are just extra features that the user can enjoy, optionally

Section added in the howto:

Why do I need all this???

Yes, I agree it's a problem due to nature of humains, as much as we have, as much we complains without think that we should better say thanks for things we have.....

Keep calm my friend :beer:


Seeing that a lot of distro's profile themselves with the specific tools they have to alter settings and or modify/tweak stuff.... like their wizards and/or updaters.
Isn't it an option/idea to create a GUI app that includes all of them, giving a sort of oversight what is on offer? Sort of like Suse's "yast"

I know I've asked this more often, in relation to aliases and settings but I see more and more reasons to do so. I am still surprised, or not fully in the clear (or simply forgot) on some options sometimes.
It gives to think that without the head dev-honcho jumping in to help on the forum, a lot of the users would "live happily ever after", never knowing/using any of those tricks.
The latter can be a "feature" like on Apple but I think Linux users want to feel "in control" of most aspects, otherwise they wouldn't even bother to try.

So practically an "elive-tools-gui" on steroids. :smiley14:

I suspect that would "wow" a lot of critics and add an extra dimension to Elive. :thinking:

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I agree with @triantares
Gui to manage updates and short description of which component is doing / responsible for what

Well not just updates.
Entering "elive-" and hitting TAB key gives:

elive-audio-fixes elive-donations-support elive-help elive-news elive-run-file-helper elive-skel elive-upgrader
elive-autostart-applications elive-health elive-multiscreens elive-reconfigurations elive-screenshot elive-startup-sound

Not all of them need a specific explaination or a GUI but grouped together that is allready quite something.
Add stuff like

  • screen-settings
  • date and time-zone config
  • power settings
  • back-up settings(and timers!)
  • network

i.e hardware settings/tweaks as well as some of the aliases that make life easier:

apfs='apt-file search'
api='sudo apt-get install'
apif='sudo apt-get -f install'
appo='apt-cache policy'
apr='sudo apt-get remove'
apse='apt-cache search'
apsh='apt-cache show'
apsrc='apt-get source'
apu='sudo apt-get update'
apug='if sudo apt-get update ; then sudo apt-get -o "Dpkg::Options::=--force-confdef" -o "Dpkg::Options::=--force-confnew" dist-upgrade ; fi'
apui='sudo apt-get update ; sync ; sudo apt-get install'
dpL='dpkg -L'
dpi='sudo dpkg -i'
dpl='dpkg -l'

Again, not all merit a mention but some are just too nice (like apug and apif) to leave out.
To all those coming from Debian derived distros they are self explainatory but for others quite mystifying IMO.

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Check out


(it's an GUI application)

Like in "vlc", "mplayer", "synaptic" and my "elive-tools-gui" proposal ..... I am infinitely aware that a GUI can never contain all the options and fine- tuning the commandline does.
But a GUI allowing a user to click through a lot of basic settings/tweaks would, at the least create an awareness of what's available.... Maybe a sort of "laziness" too but that's a small price to pay.:nod:

As @Thanatermesis made abundantly clear: People do not read explainatory documents.
Hell, even I start out constructing IKEA stuff straight away (how hard can it be?) and ..... only read the manual when I get stuck. :w00t: