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If you're talking about a major distro upgrade, say Jessie (8) to Stretch (9) in the Debian case, then yes, there's a fairly good chance at least some minor things will break, but that's a much bigger deal and presumably not something you'd ever expect to happen automatically.

To be clear, I was talking specifically about the unattended-upgrades package, which is primarily for automatic installation of things like security fixes. In my experience, this has been rock solid: it's never broken a distro package, nor any dependency that non-distro software we had installed was relying on.

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