Posted by: reformedmusings | April 26, 2009

Recovering daily update notifications in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty

One of the “improvements” in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty is a new notification system. It’s actually quite nice, as it pops up a notice in the upper right corner of the screen telling you what’s happening. I find that a nice addition to the operating system.

However, they also decided that users only want to know about non-security updates once a week rather than daily as had been the case before. In my case, that was a bad assumption. I prefer to obtain or evaluate updates every day. Fortunately, Ubuntu provides a way to recover that behavior in the release notes. From a terminal (In Ubuntu: Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal), simply type (or cut and paste but add a second dash in front of “type” until I figure out how to keep WordPress from converting two sequential dashes into an em dash):

gconftool -s –type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false

That’s it. Now update notices for all updates will appear daily in the system tray as before. Keep that line handy, as you’ll probably have to change it for every subsequent Ubuntu release. I keep a text file for handy stuff like this so I can simply cut and paste what I need in the terminal.

I immediately saw the wisdom of the old ways. After I made that change, a notification appeared for all my updated third-party applications. That was handy information right after an OS upgrade.

Individual tastes inevitably vary, and it’s nice to know that Ubuntu can be configured substantially to suit individual desires.



  1. I pasted gconftool -s –type bool /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch false into terminal but get a response of “Must specify a type when setting a value”.

    Any ideas?

  2. Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately I received “Must specify a type when setting a value” when I tried it…

  3. Thank you for your question. In looking at the post, WordPress eliminated one of the dashes in front of “type”. There should be two dashes in front of “type”. I’ll see if I can fix that.

  4. OK, I see what happened. WordPress converted two consecutive dashes into an em dash. I’ll have to research how to fix that.

  5. Thanks! That worked. I guess I could have done “man gconftool” myself…

  6. […] to Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty in this post. It turns out that not everything upgraded. When I restored the daily update notifications, I found some things that wouldn’t update. Here’s the list from my system as displayed […]

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