Ksplice

Ksplice Uptrack frequently asked questions

About Ksplice Uptrack

Using Ksplice Uptrack

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 reboot to install Ksplice Uptrack?

No! Ksplice Uptrack works with the unmodified versions of the kernels we support. 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 Ubuntu Desktop and Fedora (free of charge), and Oracle Linux (free of charge for Premier Support customers). Take a look at our list of supported kernels for more details.

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.

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 ABI or system libraries, 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 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.

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

We expect to support Ksplice Uptrack for Ubuntu Desktop 12.04 LTS Precise for as long as Ubuntu Precise is the newest version of Ubuntu. When the next version of Ubuntu Desktop (12.10 Quantal) is released, we anticipate freely supporting that next version for as long as it is the newest version of Ubuntu as well. We anticipate using a similar model for Fedora.

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 of the form [protocol://]host[:port].

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.

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 theinstall_on_reboot option in your /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf to change this behavior.

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