Do own debian updates?

This is probably a stupid question, but I am still getting used to “the dreamhost way of doing things.”

For a VPS, should I do stardard Debian OS security updates myself with an admin user? i.e. apt-get update; apt-get upgrade? Or is there some other way the dreamhost admins might expect this to be done?

Well, I have the same “stupid” question about using “apt-get update; apt-get upgrade” for security updates. And I have found nothing on the Dreamhost wiki. But another thread has the same question and one answer from FF|Skyrider is:
'You are “as far as I know” responsible for upgrades the software on your own."

So it is more than a year later, have you gone ahead and done the “apt-get update; apt-get upgrade” and were there any problems?

I’d love to have a guide of what parts of VPS to touch, and which to leave for Dreamhost ‘management’. So I have figure out by that I don’t want to modify anything re-written by, but other areas are OK, for example, each time a site is created the apache configs are re-written, and apparently Dreamhost does seem to touch existing files in /home/{username}/{site-contents} so all customizations there are OK as long as they are compatible with Apache. And modifying the FTP configs seem to stay stable.

It is always possible that the pre-installed packages by Dreamhost (and trust me, that’s a lot of them) will be ‘managed’ by dreamhost as well. But that also means it won’t stay up-to-date constantly. I for one, removed all the default pre-installed packages by dreamhost and re-installed the required packages manually to keep things up-to-date as I see fit.

The downside by doing this is that the control panel stuff (like php, apache, etc settings) will break down and it’ll no longer be a full ‘managed’ VPS. The only thing that still works on our end is the MySQL databases but that’s only because the SQL database is on their end, and not on your own VPS. (in short, MySQL server is not installed, only MySQL client).

Here is my chat with support (on Jan 24, 2015):

Harold: Hi There! How can I assist you today?
jmanko: I was wondering what the policy is for dedicated server package updates. Is that something that dream host does, or can I go ahead and keep the DS updated myself.
Harold: If you want to do that, you would have to set up your Dedicated as unmanaged to prevent your changes from being overwritten:
Harold: When you do this though, you would have full control and we can no longer support the server :/.
Harold: All we would be able to do is help you reset to original state if things go wrong.
Harold: Which would remove any changes above the home directory.
jmanko: ah, ok.
jmanko: how often do you perform updates?
Harold: Like mandatory php and ubuntu upgrades, not very often. only when stable releases and what not are needed.

So mostly you are own your own then. Depends on which packages you install, you have to run them on your own most of the time. And I know that randomly PHP / NGINX and other packages do get updated often.