How often do you update packages for your OS, editor, development environment, projects, etc.?

  • Daily or more often
  • More than once a week
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Whenever I remember to
  • During specified literal or conceptual maintenance windows
  • During cooldown periods between more active work
  • Automatically/non-interactively for security updates (i.e. unattended-upgrades on Debian variants, Dependabot)
  • Automatically/non-interactively for compatible updates (i.e. unattended-upgrades on Debian variants, Dependabot)
  • As needed for new features
  • As needed for security updates or remediation
  • As needed for non-security bug fixes
  • As rarely as I can manage without losing progress
  • As often as I can manage without losing progress

0 voters

Some less quantifiable writing prompts to go with the above:

How often do you experience breaking changes in a way that surprised you?

Do you credit one of your underlying choices (selection of OS, package manager, editor, development language, etc.) with that outcome?

Do you have any techniques that you use that you would recommend to others, to stay abreast of forward progress, to reduce toil, or to mitigate risks?


My personal laptop (which is basically a fixed wokkstation since its keyboard is broken) I update right after I get up, it updates while I fetch my first coffee. After I get home from work, it feels already out of date and I at least check for updates. For some software I get notified about updates, and when I see such a notification I run updates instantly (I build local “forksd” of upstream packages then for which I bump the version manually). Since I use Arch Linux those local “forks” are easy to do and get usually replaced by upstream builds pretty quickly.

For the machines I use at work I usually update only during cool down phases, as I can’t afford debugging breaking updates on those machines, though rarely things break, on linux at least… My windows host doesn’t have a startmenu for 3 months now… (and according to our internal IT its in an invalid update state inbetween the last and the current big feature update)

In general, I do not expect things to break, but I prefer to be prepared and careful on machines I actually need.


Do you mean just for the dev environment?

I used to do upgrades for point releases (of macOS) then do a completely clean format (as per this guide) for every major release. However, Apple made it pretty tough transferring all your data over manually, insisting you use Migration Assistant so I stopped doing clean formats. However I have got back into it now as Migration Assistant messed up a recent migration (4 times no less!) and tbh, I am quite glad - things just feel better after a completely clean wipe.

With regards to production environment, I just upgrade to versions I need or security upgrades (preferring stability over bleeding edge whenever possible).