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[DON"T PANIC] Do you see "The following packages have been kept back" while updating with apt? You are OK. READ THIS!

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    [SOLVED] [DON"T PANIC] Do you see "The following packages have been kept back" while updating with apt? You are OK. READ THIS!

    Are you constantly seeing something like this when updating on the command line?

    The following packages have been kept back:
    libglib2.0-0 libglib2.0-bin libglib2.0-data ubuntu-advantage-tools
    0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 4 not upgraded.​
    Do NOT despair, my friends!
    All is not lost!!
    Nothing is likely broken!!!
    You ARE probably OK!!!!
    Your system is 99.9% perfectly fine!!!!!

    This is just the somewhat new feature that Debian added to apt for Phased updates, which Ubuntu started using in 21.10, and more prominently with 22.04.
    Certain updates are sent out more slowly, to a smaller number of random users, which eventually expand to wider numbers after some days.

    More background:

    A couple of ways to check the staus:
    apt policy packagename will show the phased status. Use the name(s) shown in the messaging.

    This page shows the packages being phased with some info:

    Of course, held packages could happen for other reasons. If apt policy does not show something being phased, this is when you need to investigate the issue.

    If you are simply impatient, and don't want to wait, you can simply any longer and it is bothering you, you can simply install the listed packages manually. .

    Last edited by claydoh; Sep 20, 2023, 06:34 PM.

    I use Nala instead of apt, and often it gives the reason why some updates have been held back--usually because they break something else. Other times a message says it cannot figure out why the packages have been held back. After a couple of days at most, those updates are released. and so far I have not had any trouble.


      Nala won't say anything about phased status, at least not that I have seen so far. Nala is just a pretty wrapper on top of apt anyway.

      This is a new behavior, and is an extremely common question/report seen all over the place since Ubuntu released 22.04, and as more people upgrade from 20.04.


        When this happens I sometimes switch in Muon to 'Status and up-gradable', right clicking the hanging item will often make it possible to install anyway.