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# Name of the host to connect to to send email messages.
email_host = localhost
You would replace root with an actual email address to which you want the report sent, and localhost with an actual address of a SMTP server. This change will mean that after dnf-automatic runs, it will email you information about available updates, a log about downloaded packages, or installed updates according to settings in `automatic.conf`.
Alternative methods
As an alternative to dnf-automatic, https://github.com/rackerlabs/auter[auter] can be used. This operates in a similar way to dnf-automatic, but provides more flexibility in scheduling, and some additional options including running custom scripts before or after updates, and automatic reboots. This comes at the expense of more complexity to configure.
sudo dnf install auter
You should then edit the configuration. Descriptions of the options are contained in the conf file `/etc/auter/auter.conf`.
Auter is not scheduled by default. Add a schedule for `--prep` (if you want to pre-download updates) and `--apply` (install updates). The installed cron job which you can see in `/etc/cron.d/auter` contains lots of examples.
To make auter run immediately without waiting for the cron job to run, for example for testing or debugging, you can simply run it from the command line:
auter --apply
If you want to disable auter from running, including from any cron job:
auter --disable
Alternatives to automatic updates
Instead of automatic updates, dnf-automatic can only download new updates and can alert you via email of available updates which you could then install manually. This can be set by editing of `/etc/dnf/automatic.conf` file.
Scheduling updates
Another common problem is having automatic updates run when it isn't desired (holidays, weekends, vacations, etc). If there are times that no one will be around to fix any problem arising from the updates, it may be best to avoid doing updates on those days.
This problem can be fixed by modification of the timer of dnf-automatic using the description on the xref:understanding-and-administering-systemd.adoc[Understanding and administering systemd] page.
Other methods of protection
Yet another thing to consider if not using automatic updates is to provide your machine with some other forms of protection to help defend it of any attacks that might occur before updates are in place. This might include an external firewall, a host-based firewall (like iptables, ipchains, and/or tcp wrappers), not performing dangerous tasks on the computer (like browsing the web, reading e-mail, etc.), and monitoring the system for intrusions (with system log checkers, IDS systems, authentication or login monitoring, etc).