How do I list Upgradable packages in Ubuntu

In computing, updates of the packages or OS have a key role in bringing the new functionalities to the users. You may encounter several updates after a few days or weeks; these updates carry bug fixes and minor changes to any software or your operating system. The frequent updates do not necessarily mean that you will experience a new interface or experience every time: however, most updates are related to some bug fixes that are identified in the previous releases. Like other operating systems, Ubuntu also provides updates time by time, and you can get the packages that can be upgraded; you have the option to upgrade all the packages or can upgrade one by one. In this write-up, our focus is to print the upgradeable packages list in Ubuntu’s terminal. So, let’s start:

Importance of updating and Upgrading the packages

Although today’s article focuses on listing the upgradeable packages, this section is interlinked to our goal. It is noticed that if the system is not updated to the recent version of any software package or Operating System, the users may encounter problems while using that specific package, or the OS and security threat may be among the major problems that can put your whole system at risk. So, it would be beneficial to update the repository and then upgrade all the packages by using the upgrade command. For that, you must undergo the proper procedure so that you may not miss any package, the process of updating and upgrading consist of two steps:

Step 1: Update the list of packages in the Ubuntu repository; you can update the list of packages on the repository by executing the following command:

$ sudo apt update

Step 2: Upgrade the packages

The command given below can be used to upgrade the packages that are pending updates:

$ sudo apt upgrade

How to get a list of upgradeable packages in Ubuntu

This section contains the method to get the list of packages that can be upgraded. You can get the updated list of the packages with the help of command mentioned below:

$ sudo apt update

The above command will help to update the list of upgradeable packages, and when you use the upgrade command after this, it will allow you to get the updated version of the packages.

After updating, the below-mentioned command can be used to print the packages list that can be upgraded:

$ sudo apt list --upgradeable

This command is primarily used to list down all those packages that can be upgraded; with the help of this command, you can trace the software and can upgrade a single one if you do not need the upgrade of all packages. For instance, most of the users upgrade their security packages frequently; so, one can also get help from this command to trace if there are any security upgrades available. As in our case, there are only two upgrades pending that are related to the Firefox browser:


Update and upgrade commands are the two most used operations on Ubuntu, and they act as a gateway to install other tools on your system. It is recommended to use an update and upgrade command before installing any package so that you can get the updated package. Moreover, you can get the list of upgradeable packages in your Ubuntu, and this article is about showing you the way to get the upgradeable list of packages on Ubuntu.

About the author

Adnan Shabbir