About Ksplice

What are the updates that Ksplice delivers?

Linux distributions require a reboot about once a month to stay up to date with important kernel and user-space security and bug fix updates. Ksplice allows you to apply these important updates published by your Linux vendor for the kernel and critical user-space components, without rebooting.

Do I need to reboot to install Ksplice Uptrack?

Ksplice Uptrack works with the unmodified versions of the kernels we support. Even the initial installation process is completely rebootless, so Ksplice can bring your kernel up-to-date without any downtime.

For user-space patching on Oracle Linux 6, 7, 8 and 9, the components that Ksplice patches with zero-downtime need to be first upgraded to a Ksplice-aware version and the system restarted.

Which kernels does Ksplice Uptrack support?

Ksplice is included in Oracle Linux Premier Support for Oracle Linux, and available at no additional cost for Oracle Linux and CentOS instances running in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Take a look at our [list of supported kernels][https://docs.oracle.com/en/operating-systems/oracle-linux/ksplice-user/ksplice-AboutOracleKsplice.html#ol_suppkern_ksplice] for more details. Ksplice also supports a 30 day trial for Oracle Linux users.

Ksplice also supports the Linux community by providing kernel updates for Ubuntu Desktop. The currently supported Ubuntu Desktop versions supported can be found on the Ksplice Desktop page.

Is CentOS supported?

Within the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), Oracle Ksplice is supported on CentOS, and there are scripts to convert CentOS to Oracle Linux, which is then supported under a Premier Support agreement.

Do I still need to use my Linux distribution's update manager to install updates for my userspace applications?

For customers with Premier Support on Oracle Linux 6, 7, 8 and 9, Ksplice will patch critical components of running processes and update the packages on-disk so newly executed processes are also protected immediately. The remainder of the system should be updated through yum to apply any fixes.

For other distributions, Ksplice Uptrack provides security and stability fixes to the running Linux kernel, eliminating the need to restart your system to gain the benefits of new versions of Linux. You should continue installing updates for your userspace applications through your Linux distribution's update manager.

Should I install new kernel packages if my system has Ksplice Uptrack?

Yes -- that way, in case you later have to reboot (for, e.g. a hardware update), you have the option of booting into the new traditionally-updated kernel.

If you install a new kernel package, your system will run the new kernel the next time you boot your machine. If you don’t, Ksplice Uptrack will, during the boot process, automatically install the Ksplice updates you had installed before you shut down your computer, so that you stay up to date.

Will Ksplice Uptrack work in my company’s virtualized infrastructure?

Yes! Ksplice works perfectly in Oracle VM or any other virtualized environment.

For VirtualBox guests, you must currently make sure that Enable VT-x/AMD-V is turned on in your VM settings, to avoid triggering a VirtualBox bug. (Note that another bug in VirtualBox before 2.2.4 may cause this option to appear enabled when it is not. You may need to check your host BIOS settings.)

Does Ksplice work on a system that has third-party drivers loaded?

Yes, Ksplice works fine on systems with third-party drivers loaded. Ksplice cannot provide you with rebootless updates for your third-party drivers, but Ksplice can keep the rest of your kernel completely up to date.

No! Because Ksplice updates do not change the kernel or system library ABIs, your running system is unaffected. The updates are transparent to both running applications and third-party kernel modules. As a result, they do not need to be relinked, recompiled, restarted, or otherwise made aware of the change.

Does Ksplice Uptrack use cryptography?

Yes. All network traffic is encrypted, and all updates are cryptographically signed.

What kinds of information do you collect from my computer?

To ensure that you get the latest updates that are right for your system, the Ksplice Uptrack software contacts our server system with limited information about your computer’s kernel, including the version number of the Linux kernel that you are running. Ksplice Uptrack also reports any errors encountered in the operating system kernel, to alert us in case one of our updates causes problems. Lastly, so that the Ksplice Uptrack web interface can display which of your systems need updates, hostname and IP address information is reported to our server system.

How long will Ksplice Uptrack for Ubuntu Desktop be freely supported?

We expect to continue supporting Ksplice Uptrack for current versions (normal and LTS) of Ubuntu Desktop. See our Ksplice Desktop page for the latest versions we currently support as well as instructions for installing Ksplice Uptrack on your desktop Linux machine.

Using Ksplice Uptrack

How can I tell what updates are installed on a machine?

You have a number of ways to see what updates are installed:

  • With the Enhanced Client, run sudo ksplice all show on the machine to see both kernel and user-space updates.
  • With Uptrack, run sudo uptrack-show.
  • If you have one of our GUI desktop installations, the installed updates are displayed in the Uptrack Manager GUI.
  • Visit your web interface.
  • Use our API.

Can I configure Ksplice Uptrack to install updates automatically?

Yes, you can enable the autoinstall option in /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf. See the Uptrack User's Guide for instructions to enable automatic installation of updates. By default, updates will not be installed automatically.

Please note that enabling autoinstall does not mean the Uptrack client itself is automatically upgraded. You will be notified via e-mail when a new Uptrack client is available. It can be upgraded through your package manager.

For more details, see the configuration section of the Uptrack User's Guide.

How do I configure Ksplice Uptrack to use my company’s proxy server?

To configure Ksplice Uptrack to use a proxy server, edit /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf and set the https_proxy option to your https proxy.

# cat /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf

How can I remove updates from my system?

For Oracle Linux running the Ksplice Enhanced Client, all user-space and kernel updates can be removed by running the following at a command prompt and answering y when asked for confirmation:

sudo ksplice all remove --all

On systems using the Uptrack client, you can remove Ksplice Uptrack updates from your system using the command-line program uptrack-remove. For example, you can remove all Ksplice Uptrack updates from your system by typing the following at a command prompt and answering y when asked for confirmation:

sudo uptrack-remove --all

Does Ksplice Uptrack change the output of uname?

Ksplice Uptrack does not change the output of uname.

Instead, to see what effective kernel a machine is running use the uptrack-uname utility, which has the same format as uname and supports the common uname flags, including -r and -a.

You can also see a machine's effective kernel on your web interface or through our API.

How can I monitor my machines?

Ksplice has an API with example scripts as well as a Nagios Plugin for easy integration into your existing monitoring infrastructure.

Your web interface also summarizes important information about your machines and will tell you if Ksplice is currently working on new updates for your distributions.

I manage Uptrack-enabled machines for other people. How can they use the service while I still control which machines have access?

You can set access policies for individual or groups of existing machines as well as set a default access policy for new machines. Read more on our access policies page.

What happens when I reboot?

If you boot into the same kernel, by default, Ksplice Uptrack will take care of reinstalling updates upon boot. You can toggle the install_on_reboot option in your /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf to change this behavior.

# cat /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf
# Automatically install updates at boot time. If this is set, on
# reboot into the same kernel, Uptrack will re-install the same set of
# updates that were present before the reboot.
install_on_reboot = no

If you boot into a new kernel, Ksplice Uptrack will begin looking for updates for that kernel -- the choice is yours!