Question regarding /etc/apt/sources.list and support period

Hi all, :wave:

I am not quite clear about some specifics regarding the update situation of Ubuntu and some derivatives (Lubuntu in my case) and wonder if anyone could shed some light in the matter. :thinking:

At present I am using Lubuntu 20.04.3 as my daily driver. As is commonly known Lubuntu gets just 3 years support in contrast to Ubuntu which receives updates for 5 years.

As a consequence Lubuntu 20.04 should reach EOL in April 2023 whereas Ubuntu 20.04 will reach EOL in April 2025.

Hmm, that made me wonder:

There should be a place where the updates are configured and I think for deb-based systems it is /etc/apt. Especially the file sources.list.

Using the command

grep -r -v -e ^$ -e ^# /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/

to get a concise output of what´s relevant I got this for Lubuntu 20.04:

/etc/apt/sources.list:deb focal main restricted
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb focal-updates main restricted
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb focal universe
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb focal-updates universe
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb focal multiverse
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb focal-updates multiverse
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb focal-security main restricted
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb focal-security universe
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb focal-security multiverse
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb focal-backports main restricted universe multiverse
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/ focal main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/teejee2008-ubuntu-timeshift-focal.list:deb focal main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/deki-ubuntu-firejail-focal.list:deb focal main

Looking through it as much as I might I still cannot find any reference to Lubuntu itself. :slightly_frowning_face:
Wouldn´t the settings be the same in Ubuntu (apart from the PPAs I set in “/etc/apt/sources.list.d/” of course) :question:

Perhaps I´m missing something here… :thinking:

Curiosity got the better of me and I looked up the same scenario on in my BodhiLinux (running in a VM):

/etc/apt/sources.list:deb bionic main restricted
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb bionic-updates main restricted
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb bionic universe
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb bionic-updates universe
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb bionic multiverse
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb bionic-updates multiverse
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb bionic-backports main restricted universe multiverse
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb bionic-security main restricted
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb bionic-security universe
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb bionic-security multiverse
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb [trusted=yes] bionic b5main
/etc/apt/sources.list:deb xenial main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/danielrichter2007-ubuntu-grub-customizer-bionic.list:deb bionic main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/deki-ubuntu-firejail-bionic.list:deb bionic main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/teamviewer.list:deb stable main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/ all main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/ bionic main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/mark-pcnetspec-ubuntu-gksu-bionic.list:deb bionic main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/ stable main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/costales-ubuntu-anoise-bionic.list:deb bionic main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/fish-shell-ubuntu-release-3-bionic.list:deb bionic main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/ bionic main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/ bionic main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/manu-tm-ubuntu-tickr-bionic.list:deb bionic main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/anydesk-stable.list:deb all main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/ bionic main
/etc/apt/sources.list.d/ bionic main

Indeed here is a certain line present which refers to Bodhi: :smiley:

/etc/apt/sources.list:deb [trusted=yes] bionic b5main

Has anyone got any ideas why my main system Lubuntu should still get 3 years support instead of 5 years :question:

Many thanks in advance for your help and many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi @Rosika ,
Just a general point. I do not think the sources.list file is inteded to convey information about LTS.
It just seems to be for defining which repositories our updates come from.

So I think you have to rely on release statements to get the info you are seeking. They seem to be in /usr/share/doc.


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Hi Neville, :wave:

thanks a lot for your reply.

Yes, the repositories packages (and updates) come from should be defined here. That was my thinking as well.
Therefore I was a bit astonished not to see any reference for any Lubuntu-specific repo here (in contrast to Bodhi, see above).

So it´s still not quite clear to me why the support period for Lubuntu should end after 3
years. :thinking:

/usr/share/doc in Lubuntu has 2527 entries (on my system). Yet there seems to be nothing in there referring to “LTS”. :slightly_frowning_face:

But I´m sure there has to be some place where the respective info about support period resides…

Thanks a lot, Neville.
Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Perhaps, the following helps, in case you had not found it, yet.

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Hi @Akito, :wave:

thanks so much for the reddit-link.
In fact I had´t stumbled across that one before.

I´ve read it through and if I haven´t missed anything I think i´ve known at least the gist of the discussion.

One discussion member ( Green_Carnage) said:

As far as I know, 3 years of support for the Operating System itself which is Lubuntu in this case then around two years of security and maintenance updates for the core components from Canonical itself so I think it’s actually 5 years in total or so, depending on how you are looking at it.

I get that, but that´s the reason why I was looking for something specifically Lubuntu-related in /etc/apt/sources.list:thinking:

Never mind.
I might still consider “Linux Lite” ( ) as an alternative.
Linux Lite keeps stating it provides 5 years support as it´s based on Ubuntu LTS

Plus: it seems to fulfill all my requirements:

  • it´s pretty lightweight
  • deb package management
  • fixed releases
  • 5 years support instead of 3 years
  • seems to be well documented

On the other hand it seems to be a tad bit more resource-hungry (RAM-wise) than Lubuntu…

Well, I´ll just have to think about it. :thinking:

Thanks a lot @Akito for your help.
Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:



right now my status (Lubuntu 20.04.3) is:

2758 packages installed, of which:
1778 receive package updates with LTS until 4/2025
   8 packages are no longer available for download

Packages that are not available for download may be left over from a
previous release of Ubuntu, may have been installed directly from a
.deb file, or are from a source which has been disabled.
For more information on the packages, run 'ubuntu-security-status

This machine is not attached to an Ubuntu Advantage subscription.
1 Like

Rosika, what about considering plain Debian or Devuan?
Their LTS seems much less complicated than Ubuntu.
You can make a lite version, just be selective about what you install and you can choose just about any dte

I have Debian with xfce on an old 32 bit laptop, and its performance is OK with me.


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Hi Neville, :wave:

many thanks for your suggestions. :hearts:

As far as Debian itself is concerned: I was already looking into it but I´m not so sure about it any more in view of the latest update scenario as far as security updates are concerned.

A certain patch (“Out-of-bounds heap read/write vulnerability in VFS module vfs_fruit allows code execution”) is still unavailable for Debian whereas other LInux distros (Ubuntu amongst others) received it quite a time ago.

There is a discussion about it with @Akito here: Ubuntu vs Debian stable (security patches) .

So at present I´d rather not opt for Debian proper. :slightly_frowning_face:

But Devuan seems interesting. :slightly_smiling_face:

On Devuan – Wikipedia Chimaera (stable) seems supported from the end of 2021 to mid 2026 which translates into a very good support period, I think.

Yet there´s something which makes me wonder:

lists chimaera as “semi-rolling”…
… which is something I actually don´t want. I´m looking for a fixed release-model.
So I´m still not quite sure about Devuan… :thinking:

Otherwise it would certianly be a good candidate.

Many thanks again for your help, Neville.

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

I want to check on that?
I started with Devuan 3 and did a cross-release update to Devuan 4 (Chimaera) when it appeared.
The cross-release update was trouble-free
So as far as I knew, Devuan was fixed-release, and still is.
My Devuan is with the runit init system, and xfce.

If you want eternal LTS and up to date system, managed rolling release is the way to go. I have no issues with Void or Solus- I update about once a fortnight and it never gives a problem and it goes on forever.


Hi Rosika,
I checked the official Deuan site

I just talks about releases, does not mention semi-rolling

But it does say you can choose whether to stay on a release or seamlessly upgrade to the next release, by what you put in / etc/apt/sources.list.
So my guess is that is what semi-rolling means - you choose when or if you want to roll to the next release. Sort of a bet each way. MX is the same .

So Devuan might yet meet your requirement - just opt to let it sit on your choice of fixed release

Hope that helps, it sorted me out.

Hello again, Neville :wave:

thanks so much for you latest comments.

Yes, according to distrowatch versions 1 and 2 are also listed as “fixed”. They categorize it as “semi-rolling” from version3 onwards…
Still not sure why chimaera doesn´t appear as “fixed” any more… :thinking:

In principle that would be a good idea.

For me however it seems only sub-optimal.
As my (sole) means of internet connection is a 4G-stick (I´m using AldiTalk option “L”) this gives me 5 GB highspeed data voume per 28 days. That´s roughly 178 MB/day.

My fear is I wouldn´t be able to keep up with those frequent (and data-intensive) updates which would be triggered by a rolling release.

I was (for experimental reasons) trying Arch in a VM and the amount of data which Arch needs to be up-to-date is clearly beyond my capabilities. :blush:

It seems to be a quite different matter with fixed releases like Ubuntu and derivatives.

As I´ve been on Lubuntu as my daily driver for about 5 and a half years now I may safely say it´s perfectly manageable to maintain this system - including 2 VMs (Bodhi and Debian). Plus: I still have quite some MBs left at the end of the option period. :slightly_smiling_face:

That´s why I´m looking for a “fixed” release model.

That´s sounds interesting though.

Just one question: If you update once a fortnight, how much MB will that download be?
I mean on an average basis of course…

Thanks also for the link referring to Devuan relelase infos. :hearts:

Yes, you´re right. If I can used it like (or as) a fixed release it might prove to be a suitable candidate.
Thanks for for your detailed infos. :+1:

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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I will get you some figures on amounts downloaded.

Our link to internet is ADSL modem, and we live on the country a long way from the telephone exchange, so it only does 5Mbps, but it is unlimited Gb , so I just let it run while I work. It usually updates Void in about half an hour, but it doesnt use the whole 5Mbps because the Void site throttles it to about 200-500 Kbps.
Need to measure it directly.


PS I dont like this semi-rolling term. It should be semi-fixed - ie fixed with an option to let it roll to next release if you want.

Hi Neville, :wave:

thanks so much for your reply.

Great, it´s highly appreciated. :hearts:

Seems like your internet connection/data plan isn´t bad at all.
Unlimited data sounds very good indeed. :+1:

Good point. Thanks for the clarification.

Have a nice Sunday and many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

@Rosika ,
I had one update of Solus last night. Just to give you some idea what it is like I did it with the command line instead of the Software Centre GUI. Here is the result

root@trinity /home/nevj 
# eopkg upgrade

Updating repository: Solus

Solus repository information is up-to-date.
Safety switch forces the upgrade of following packages:
expat  libnss  polkit  sudo
The following packages will be upgraded:
aom                           cups
expat                         expat-devel               
ffmpeg                        firefox                   
flatpak                       git                       
gstreamer-1.0-plugins-bad     hplip-drivers             
inxi                          libarchive                
libarchive-bin                libdrm                    
libgpod                       libheif                   
libixion                      libnss                    
liborcus                      libplacebo                
libreoffice-calc              libreoffice-common        
libreoffice-draw              libreoffice-impress       
libreoffice-writer            libwebkit-gtk             
llvm                          mesa-demos                
mesalib                       mpv-libs                  
mutagen                       mutter                    
nano                          nasm                      
neon                          ntfs-3g                   
nvidia-glx-driver-modaliases  pipewire                  
polkit                        polkit-devel              
poppler                       poppler-data              
poppler-utils                 python-configobj          
python-packaging              python-six                
python3-pycryptodome          python3-pyudev            
ruby                          scrcpy                    
sg3_utils                     sudo                      
thunderbird                   unrar                     
vim                           xorg-driver-input-libinput
xorg-driver-video-vmware      yt-dlp                    
Total size of package(s): 428.77 MB
There are extra packages due to dependencies.
Do you want to continue? (yes/no)y
Downloading 1 / 59
Package expat found in repository Solus
Installing polkit-devel, version 0.113, release 24
Upgrading to new distribution release
Extracting the files of polkit-devel
Upgraded polkit-devel
Installing 59 / 59
nasm-2.15.05-17-1-x86_64.eopkg [cached]
Installing nasm, version 2.15.05, release 17
Upgrading to new upstream version
Extracting the files of nasm
Upgraded nasm
 [✓] Syncing filesystems                                                success
 [✓] Updating dynamic library cache                                     success
 [✓] Updating graphical driver configuration                            success
 [✓] Reloading systemd configuration                                    success
 [✓] Updating mimetype database                                         success
 [✓] Updating desktop database                                          success
 [✓] Updating manpages database                                         success
 [✓] Reloading udev rules                                               success
 [✓] Applying udev rules                                                success
root@trinity /home/nevj # 

So it downloaded 428Mb. Mainly Libreoffice (142Mb), Firefox(95Mb) and Thunderbird(84Mb). It would be more than a month since last upgrade. Took more than an hour with a couple of dropouts. Solus mirror sites are not as good as Debian or Void.

Just to show you what Solus is like here is a screenshot with the Software Centre displayed

That is the home page of the Software Centre - ie the GUI package system. It is really well put together. For example, when you select a package it brings up a description and for some packages a screenshot. I selected KVM package, and here is what it displays

Obviously I need to check the download size over several months. My impression is that Solus downloads less than Void. Will do same for Void next week when the fortnight is up.


1 Like

Hi again, Neville, :wave:

thank you so much for proving such a detailed account of what it´s like to go through the update process in Solus.
A special thanks for doing it via the command-line so I can see some specifics. :hearts:

I see.
Well I subtracted the “fat” programmes LibreOffice, Thunderbird and Firefox which leaves 107 MB for the rest.
I guess that´s reasonable enough, especially in view of the fact that a month or so passed since the last upgrade . :blush:

Good to know. Thanks. There´s nothing like a first-hand comparison from practical experience.

You´re too kind, Neville. Be thanked a lot. :+1:

I wish I could add something to the discussion with reference to data-volume as far as updates are concerned.

The thing is: I do Lubuntu upgrades (apt) roundabout every two days, or to be more precise: I look for them.
Often enough there´s nothing new. At other times (if Firefox and the like) offer new versions then there´s a bigger download of course.

As I have those 5 GB available per month I like saving up a bit of data and then look at a later point in time if I can “afford” the leatest updates.
I hope to keep any risks at a minimum by sandboxing almost anything with firejail:slightly_smiling_face:

So basically I´d have to take notes over the period of a month to be able to compare your info with mine. I think I´ll do that as it really seems worthwhile. :blush:

Thanks a lot for the very impressive screenshots too.
You really did put a lot of work in compiling your answer and comments. It´s highly appreciated.

Many thanks again and many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi @Rosika,
Just a quick question. Is Lubuntu like Debian - does it only do security updates?
If so, I suspect Lubuntu downloads would be smaller than Void or Linux, because their updates are security plus normal new releases of packages or kernel.
A kernel download is about 70Mb. It is up there with the heavyweight packages.


Hi Rosika,
I can speed it up a bit. Look at
it will give you the date of your last update ( and all preceding ones)
Unfortunately it does not log download sizes.

In Solus /var/log/eopkg.log told me the dates of last two updates were 2022:02:14 and 2021:12:26
so the 428Mb were for 50 days


Hi Neville, :wave:

I´m very sorry I couldn´t reply earlier. I was out and about yesterday for the whole day and there was no time left for me to be online. :slightly_frowning_face:
Please accept my apologies.

Hmm, that´s a good question indeed.
I don´t want to provide any inaccurate info, so I´m a bit cautious here.
I´ve looked around a bit on the net but haven´t come up with anything definite.
At any rate I think it´s not just security updates; but take it with a grain of salt …

To my shame I have to admit I didn´t know about that one. :blush:
Seems the log rotate policy kicks in as I have quite a lot of entries in the respective folder:

ll  /var/log/apt/
insgesamt 360K
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  92K Feb 11 15:49 eipp.log.xz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 7,9K Feb 11 15:49 history.log
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2,8K Apr 30  2021 history.log.10.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 3,1K Mär 31  2021 history.log.11.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 3,1K Feb 26  2021 history.log.12.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1,8K Jan 28 12:59 history.log.1.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1,2K Dez 21 15:15 history.log.2.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1,6K Nov 28 14:29 history.log.3.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1,9K Okt 29 16:26 history.log.4.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2,1K Sep 30 14:23 history.log.5.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1,9K Aug 27 16:48 history.log.6.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1,8K Jul 30  2021 history.log.7.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2,0K Jun 25  2021 history.log.8.gz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2,6K Mai 31  2021 history.log.9.gz
-rw-r----- 1 root adm   99K Feb 11 15:49 term.log
-rw-r----- 1 root adm  7,7K Apr 30  2021 term.log.10.gz
-rw-r----- 1 root adm  7,9K Mär 31  2021 term.log.11.gz
-rw-r----- 1 root adm   13K Feb 26  2021 term.log.12.gz
-rw-r----- 1 root adm  4,9K Jan 28 12:59 term.log.1.gz
-rw-r----- 1 root adm  3,3K Dez 21 15:15 term.log.2.gz
-rw-r----- 1 root adm  4,3K Nov 28 14:29 term.log.3.gz
-rw-r----- 1 root adm  5,0K Okt 29 16:26 term.log.4.gz
-rw-r----- 1 root adm  5,7K Sep 30 14:23 term.log.5.gz
-rw-r----- 1 root adm  5,8K Aug 27 16:48 term.log.6.gz
-rw-r----- 1 root adm   11K Jul 30  2021 term.log.7.gz
-rw-r----- 1 root adm  5,4K Jun 25  2021 term.log.8.gz
-rw-r----- 1 root adm  6,8K Mai 31  2021 term.log.9.gz

Looking at /var/log/apt/history.log I can confirm there´s no info regarding download sizes.
As an example the latest update looks like this:

Start-Date: 2022-02-11  15:49:23
Commandline: apt upgrade
Requested-By: rosika (1000)
Upgrade: fish-common:amd64 (3.1.0-1.2, 3.3.1-1~focal), fish:amd64 (3.1.0-1.2, 3.3.1-1~focal)
End-Date: 2022-02-11  15:49:46

Thanks again for providing your insights. :+1:

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Just discovered my Void Linux, it has no log files ?

After looking around , I discover that Void installs without the syslog daemon, by default. It is very minimal indeed.
You have to install a package and start the daemon, just to get logfiles.

So I did a Void update yesterday and will get some results in 2 weeks



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Hi Neville, :wave:

That made me wonder: do I have such log-files in my Debian VM? I was a bit sceptical as Debian doesn´t come with much of the stuff installed by default which seems to be standard in Ubuntu and the like.
So I took a look at /var/log/apt/ and was pleasantly surprised to see there were quite some history logs available (most of them in .gz). :wink:

Out of curiosity I was searching around a bit on my system (Lubuntu) as I was never thinking much about logging processes:

dglob syslog

So syslog is installed. :slightly_smiling_face:

ps aux | grep syslog
message+     877  0.0  0.1   8724  5472 ?        Ss   12:20   0:00 /usr/bin/dbus-daemon --system --address=systemd: --nofork --nopidfile --systemd-activation --syslog-only
syslog       894  0.0  0.1 224348  4528 ?        Ssl  12:20   0:00 /usr/sbin/rsyslogd -n -iNONE
rosika      1332  0.0  0.1   7700  4624 ?        Ss   12:21   0:00 /usr/bin/dbus-daemon --session --address=systemd: --nofork --nopidfile --systemd-activation --syslog-only
rosika      7380  0.0  0.0   9412   664 pts/4    S+   13:09   0:00 grep --color=auto syslog

syslog processes are running. :slightly_smiling_face:

systemctl status syslog
● rsyslog.service - System Logging Service
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/rsyslog.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Thu 2022-02-17 12:20:31 CET; 48min ago
TriggeredBy: ● syslog.socket
       Docs: man:rsyslogd(8)
   Main PID: 894 (rsyslogd)
      Tasks: 4 (limit: 4509)
     Memory: 3.6M
     CGroup: /system.slice/rsyslog.service
             └─894 /usr/sbin/rsyslogd -n -iNONE

Feb 17 12:20:25 rosika-10159 systemd[1]: Starting System Logging Service...
Feb 17 12:20:31 rosika-10159 rsyslogd[894]: imuxsock: Acquired UNIX socket '/run/systemd/journ>
Feb 17 12:20:31 rosika-10159 rsyslogd[894]: rsyslogd's groupid changed to 110
Feb 17 12:20:31 rosika-10159 systemd[1]: Started System Logging Service.
Feb 17 12:20:31 rosika-10159 rsyslogd[894]: rsyslogd's userid changed to 104
Feb 17 12:20:31 rosika-10159 rsyslogd[894]: [origin software="rsyslogd" swVersion="8.2001.0" x>
Feb 17 12:20:36 rosika-10159 rsyslogd[894]: [origin software="rsyslogd" swVersion="8.2001.0" x>

That was interesting.
I guess if syslog isn´t installed by default it can be installed with
sudo apt install rsyslog (for apt packaging).

Many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

I am in MX at moment so will have a look

$ ps ax | grep syslogd
   2665 ?        Ssl    0:00 /usr/sbin/rsyslogd
   6613 pts/1    S+     0:00 grep syslogd

So syslogd is running

$ ls
eipp.log.xz  history.log  history.log.1.gz  term.log  term.log.1.gz

The history log for apt is there

$ systemctl status syslog
System has not been booted with systemd as init system (PID 1). Can't operate.
Failed to connect to bus: Host is down

But I cant use systemd commands, MX uses runit.
So in MX, all the logfiles are there, but you have to view them the traditional way by just looking at the file with more or view.

When I look in /var/log/journal (that is where systemd keeps its logs) there is nothing there under MX. But systemd is actually running

$ ps ax | grep systemd
    620 ?        S      0:00 /lib/systemd/systemd-udevd
   2458 ?        S      0:00 /sbin/cgmanager --daemon -m name=systemd
   3206 ?        S      0:00 /lib/systemd/systemd-logind
   9033 pts/1    S+     0:00 grep systemd

but it is only doing udev and logins.

So MX is a weird hybrid of systemd and runit

Your Debian system should have something in /var/log journal.
On some systems which use systemd, everything is in /var/log journal and there are no readable log files in /var/log. That is one of the reasons some people do not like systemd. Being able to browse the log files is a great way to diagnose problems.


1 Like