Update Your PCLinuxOS

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  • Relevant to PCLinuxOS 2012.08 KDE. However the basic procedure will be relevant to other PCLinuxOS editions also.


This page deals with the method of keeping your PCLinuxOS system up-to date.


PCLinuxOS is a Linux distribution that follows the system of rolling updates. It means that you do not need to reinstall each time an update is released and when fully updated you have the most current system. However it is very important to update properly to make sure that your system does not break.

  • It is recommended that you do a proper system update as outlined below once every week or two.
  • Leaving a long gap between system updates may cause breakdown. Do not wait more than 60 days to update your system.



PCLinuxOS updates are delivered over the internet. A working internet connection is needed. Broadband connections are preferred because sometimes the updates can be of the order of hundreds of MBs. So before proceeding with the update, make sure that you have a working internet connection.

Locating Synaptic

Synaptic Ready
Synaptic is the software that manages the task of downloading and installing updates for your system. The software on your system is delivered as packages and hence Synaptic is also called package manager. You can launch it by any one of the following 3 methods:
Synaptic Locate
  • By clicking on Synaptic Package Manager icon in the taskbar near the left hand lower corner of your screen.
  • By going to PC Menu (Also called Kickoff Application Launcher) at the left hand lower corner of your screen > Applications > Software Centre > Package Manager.
  • By typing 'synaptic' into a terminal.

Running Synaptic

Since updating your system might require making changes to the system as a whole or changing important system files, Synaptic needs the privileges of super user or root. Hence while starting up Synaptic, you need to enter the root password first.

  • Synaptic Scanning
    As soon as Synaptic starts, it scans your system for existing software and gets ready.

  • Synaptic Reload
    Now you need to reload the package information to become informed about new, removed or upgraded software packages. Click on 'Reload' button.

  • Synaptic Downloading Package Information
    A window labelled 'Downloading package information' will come up and show the progress of this operation. Once the download is complete, Synaptic will do another scan and get ready for the next step.

  • Synaptic Mark All Upgrades
    Now click on 'Mark All Upgrades'.

  • Synaptic Mark Additional Required Changes
    You will get another window with the prompt "Mark additional required changes?'. Go through the list and click on 'Mark'.

  • Apply The Following Changes
    Now click on 'Apply'. You will be presented with another summary window. After going through the list, click on 'Apply' to begin the actual process of downloading and installing updates.
  • You can expand To be upgraded and To be installed sections by clicking on the small triangle before each line.

  • Once the process is complete you may see another window showing some output. Some of the changes effected by Synaptic might require you to either log-off and log-in again or rarely in case of kernel update etc require you to reboot which would be shown in this window. After this you may close Synaptic.
  • If required, as mentioned above, log-off/log-in or reboot.
  • That completes your system update.


  • Synaptic Packages Not Retrieved
    In case Synaptic gives a prompt such as 'Not able to retrieve all packages, continue anyway?' DO NOT click Yes. Say NO and try updating sometime later. This might be because the repositories are being updated with new software themselves and only after this process is complete, you should update your system. If the message continues to appear even after a day, report the issue to the forum.

  • DO NOT USE apt-get update and apt-get upgrade from the command line. This has never been the recommended way. If you insist on using command line, the correct procedure is apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade.
  • Once a new ISO is produced and made available to the public, we no longer test upgrading from older ISO releases. This does not mean, though, that previous releases should not be used. On the contrary, there is no need to reinstall PCLinuxOS unless you wish to have a fresh install, due to PCLinuxOS being a "rolling" release distribution.
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