Free Ubuntu / Debian Linux Software Update Script

Simple Linux software update script to sit on the desktop. When clicked, the softman script runs apt-get update, upgrade, dist-upgrade, full-upgrade, clean and apt-get autoremove to keep your system up-to-date and secure. The program download link is at the bottom of this page.

  • You only need to download the file ‘softman’.
  • Make the file executable (desktop users: right-click then select ‘executable’)
  • Click the file to run the update service
  • Read Features section of this post to learn the commandline options.

I keep this script on my desktop so I can click it any time I want to check for updates and install them.


  • Updates the system when clicked.
  • Accepts commandline arguments.
  • Will execute ‘softman upgrade’ when clicked
  • Can be run from the command line with arguments passed to it
  • Can be included within another script as a source file (with minor changes. The library version is slightly different).

Command line options

Softman has a number of command line options for use in Konsole or Terminal or, when softman is used as a source file, for use within scripts.

  • upgrade: update/upgrade the system software with suggested build dependent packages
  • install: install software with suggested build dependent packages
  • reinstall: reinstall software with suggested build dependent packages
  • findbad: find packages with corrupt files / find packages with missing files
  • fixbad: find currupt software and automatically reinstall their packages
  • fixmissing: find software with missing files and automatically reinstall their packages
  • rebuildsystem: reinstall all installed software
  • build: download package source files and compile into a .deb binary file ready for installation
  • flush: clear the download cache and automatically remove packages that are no longer required.

Commandline option flags

  • -u: Run apt-get update
  • -h: Show help text
  • -v: Show Softman version number

Softman Usage

Use softman install and softman reinstall as a replacement for apt-get install and apt-get install –reinstall. List packages after the command as you would with apt-get install.

For example

Install VLC, GIMP and Kate along with their build dependencies with

Reinstall VLC, GIMP and Kate along with their build dependencies with

Running softman without any arguments will cause softman to update the list of available software then download and install any updates. This is the same as running apt-get update ; apt-get upgrade ; apt-get dist-upgrade ; apt-get clean ; apt-get autoremove.

Running softman -u will only download the latest list of available software packages. This is the same as apt-get update.

To only run updates from the commandline, use:

For help, see


The following commands are safe to use but exercise caution


The following command will either fix or destroy your system. Should be safe to use but.. there is always risk!


Because opening a terminal to run updates is too much hassle and I’m too lazy to use GUI options that take forever to load. Plus, I needed a software update library and better installer for other scripts.


This Bash script began life as a simple system update script to hang on my desktop and click to quickly run system software updates. It is now so much more than that.

Softman (Software Manager) is part of a library of scripts I author and frequently use in Linux projects. This library will soon be released to my Github repo for others to make use of in their own Bash projects.

The softman software update script released to my Github repo is a self-contained version of a software update and (re)installation script. It is mostly a wrapper for frequently used apt-get command sequences but also includes commands to automatically reinstall software packages that contain corrupt files e.g. files damaged during a hard drive crash, malware infection or self-inflicted damage when a script runs amock and chews up everything in its path.

Download Ubuntu software update script

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