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I'd like to keep my system up to date. Do I only need to use apt-get update, apt-get upgrade, and apt-get dist-upgrade (what exactly does this last one do?)

I use apt-get to update [or yum] the system all the time, and I think it's enough.

man apt-get has a lot of info on the options for apt-get

Robert B

ps.: it's also safe to use apt-get to update you're kernel, just make sure you get the sources with apt-get, it'll install it for you.
Ensure that you have the entry for in your /etc/apt/sources.list file, and simply do the following daily:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

That's it!

apt-get dist-upgrade is for when you are moving from one version of debian to another, for example,moving from stable to testing.
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