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Skinny Update Manager

Skinny Update Manager aims to be a lightweight update manager for Debian Squeeze. It does not have any GNOME, KDE, or Xfce dependencies apart from `gnome-icon-theme`, nor does it create any new daemons. It is intended to be a usable, lighter, and much leaner alternative to the hungrier and shinier update-notifier typically in GNOME and Xfce installations.


Skinny Update Manager implements a complete update manager for Debian Squeeze. It consists of a core updater/upgrade-informer script and desktop user notification and upgrading tools. In addition, the core updater/upgrade-informer script (`skinny-deb-update-check`) can be used as a generic updater and upgrade informer for use in conjunction with a variety of notifier applications and scripts that can be developed in the future including:

  • Notification via email
  • Notification via Conky
  • Notification via the Social Web

For most users, Skinny Update Manager will have effectively no added memory footprint except when it is actively updating and checking for updates (once a day by default), when it is notifying the user that package upgrades are available, or when the user instigates an upgrade.


  • Required: apt-get gnome-icon-theme gxmessage xterm zenity
  • Recommended: anacron
  • Suggested: libnotify-bin

To get the greatest benefit, you will also need to create a user cronjob, the details of which are described in the README.


This software is in daily use on Debian Squeeze but should be considered beta-quality. It is currently broken on Debian Wheezy (and likely newer releases of Ubuntu) because of the of the way notifications now work in Zenity.

(Ir)responsible parties

Send your inquiries, blue flower pots, unused paper towels, etc. to mithat .

Ohloh project report for Skinny Update Manager