A while back I installed apticron to get an email when updates were outstanding on our servers. However, it emails for all updates, and there are updates released every day, which means I get one email per server per day, useless noise that I end up ignoring.
Today I built a solution, security-update-notifier. It’s a very simple (crude!) shell script that can be scheduled with cron to generate an email each day when there are security updates pending. It relies on apt-check, part of the update-notifier package.
We manage our machines with puppet, so I built my first ever public puppet module, a simple wrapper around the script. Tomorrow morning at 4:44am I’ll hopefully get an email for one server. I’ve left one with updates outstanding, one with only non-security updates outstanding, and one up to date, to test each case. Fingers crossed.