How to update Rocky Linux automatically using dnf-automatic

Hello, friends. In this post, you will learn how to update Rocky Linux automatically using dnf-automatic.

What is dnf-automatic?

dnf-automatic is a tool that helps to manage automatic unattended updates of Rocky Linux system.

This tool is a help for many sysadmins to automate updates on a server.

So, it is worth knowing this tool.

Install dnf-automatic on Rocky Linux

One of the advantages of this tool is that we can install it without too many problems because it is present in the official repositories.

So, in a terminal or on a server update the entire system

sudo dnf update

Then, install the tool with the command:

sudo dnf install dnf-automatic
Install dnf-automatic
Install dnf-automatic

Just like that, it will be installed on your system.

Automatically update Rocky Linux with dnf-automatic

Before using the tool, it is necessary to configure it correctly. In this sense, the main configuration is in the /etc/dnf/automatic.conf file.

So, before editing it if you want you can make a backup of it

sudo cp /etc/dnf/automatic.conf /etc/dnf/automatic.conf.bak

Now edit it:

sudo vi /etc/dnf/automatic.conf

The first thing we have to do is to locate the line starting with apply_updates and assign it a value of yes.

apply_updates = yes

This way, the tool will apply the updates as soon as they are downloaded.

You can also define what you want to be updated. Generally, it is not recommended that these are full updates, but only security updates.

To configure this, locate the upgrade_type file and replace default with security.

upgrade_type = security

Another useful aspect of the configuration is that you can define if every time you log in to the server, you will be informed of the updated packages.

To achieve this, change the value of emit_via to motd.

emit_via = motd

Then, save the configuration and close the editor.

To check that everything is OK, you can run this command

sudo dnf-automatic

With that, we know that it is well configured.

The tool is configured, but when will it run?

Well, you have to set a time for the task to be done.

First, start the tool:

sudo systemctl enable --now dnf-automatic.timer

And then, you can modify the time that it runs

sudo vi /etc/systemd/system/

In the OnCalendar section, replace it with the desired value.

OnCalendar=*-*-*-* 01:00
Configuring dnf-automatic to update Rocky Linux 9
Configuring dnf-automatic to update Rocky Linux 9

The above example runs the task every day at 01:00 You can adjust it.

Save the changes and close the editor.

If you want to avoid a delay in the command execution, find the RandomizedDelaySec directive and set it to 0m.

RandomizedDelaySec = 0m

Save the changes and close the editor.

Apply the changes with the following command:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload



Automating processes is a basic task when administering servers. Today, you learned a good trick to do it.

I am Angelo. A systems engineer passionate about Linux and all open-source software. Although here I'm just another member of the family.


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