Terry : Kpslice FAQ

Ksplice Uptrack frequently asked questions

About Ksplice Uptrack

  • What are the updates that Ksplice Uptrack delivers?
  • Do I need to run a special or custom kernel to use Ksplice Uptrack?
  • Which kernels does Ksplice Uptrack support?
  • Do I still need to use my Linux distribution’s update manager to install updates?
  • Should I install new kernel packages if my system has Ksplice Uptrack?
  • How long will Ksplice Uptrack for Ubuntu Desktop and Fedora be freely supported?
  • Will Ksplice Uptrack work in my company’s virtualized infrastructure?
  • Does Ksplice work on a system that has closed source drivers loaded?
  • What kinds of information do you collect from my computer?
  • Does Ksplice Uptrack use cryptography?
  • How does billing work?

Using Ksplice Uptrack

  • How can I tell what updates are installed?
  • Can I configure Ksplice Uptrack to install updates automatically?
  • How do I configure Ksplice Uptrack to use my company’s proxy server?
  • How can I remove updates from my system?
  • Does Ksplice Uptrack change the output of uname?
  • How can I monitor my machines?
  • I manage Uptrack-enabled machines for other people. How can they use the service while I still control which machines have access?
  • If I have to reboot for some reason, will the updates get reapplied automatically?

What are the updates that Ksplice Uptrack delivers?

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

Do I need to run a special or custom kernel to use Ksplice Uptrack?

Not at all. Ksplice Uptrack works with the unmodified stock kernels provided by your Linux distribution. Even the initial installation process is completely rebootless, so Ksplice Uptrack fits into your infrastructure with zero disruption.

Which kernels does Ksplice Uptrack support?

Ksplice Uptrack supports all the common kernel flavors as well as some of the uncommon kernel flavors for each supported distribution. We support the last year or two of kernels for each flavor; for details, see the list of supported kernels.

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

Yes. 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.

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

Ksplice Uptrack for Ubuntu Desktop 11.04 Natty will be freely supported for as long as Ubuntu Natty is the newest version of Ubuntu. When the next version of Ubuntu Desktop (11.10 Oneiric) is released, we anticipate freely supporting that next version for as long as it is the newest version of Ubuntu. We anticipate using a similar model for Fedora.

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

Yes! Ksplice works perfectly in VMware, Xen, Virtuozzo or any other virtualized environment. It works on
both virtual machine hosts and guests, keeping your entire infrastructure secure.

  • 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.)
  • No special configuration is necessary for other virtualization software.

Does Ksplice work on a system that has closed source drivers loaded?

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

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 to us 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 to you which of your systems need updates, hostname and IP address information is reported to our server system.

Does Ksplice Uptrack use cryptography?

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

How does billing work?

You are charged per machine per month and are only charged for machines using the service. Read more at the pricing FAQ.

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

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

  • On the machine, 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, or
during installation. (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, and it can be
upgraded through your package manager.

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 (in the Network section) to a value.

How can I remove updates from my system?

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
Nagios plugins 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.

If I have to reboot for some reason, will the
updates get reapplied automatically?

By default, yes, Ksplice Uptrack will take care of reinstalling updates
upon boot. You can toggle theinstall_on_reboot option in
your /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf to change this behavior.