The issue of having a beginner/easy-to-use focused desktop Linux distribution but not installing new security updates by default without user intervention is that for many users they fall behind in applying often important security fixes.
The Linux Mint blog posted a notice today encouraging its users to install security updates as they are “very important” while the internal statistics indicate significant numbers of users are not doing so. “Apply updates right now!” the notice reads and also warning users to not run end-of-life (EOL) versions of the Ubuntu/Debian-based distribution.
While updating desktop Linux distribution packages is easy these days with various graphical utilities, large numbers of Linux Mint users are not doing so. Linux Mint’s server-side statistics indicate around 30% of users apply updates in less than one week — by going off the recent Firefox 85 update and seeing that only about one third of users updated their web browser from the repository within one week of its release.
Even more concerning is their stats indicate around 5% to 30% of users are still running Linux Mint 17, which was EOL’ed in April 2019. Nearly two years later that is showing significant number of users running software that hasn’t even seen updates in two years. The 5% measurement is from the browser start page tracking while 30% is from APT repository monitoring.
Regardless of whether you are running Linux Mint or another operating system, spend some time this weekend to ensure you are up-to-date on your OS updates. Linux Mint’s words of encouragement for updating can be found on their blog.