Ksplice 101: Get to Know More About Ksplice

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It used to be that when you need to patch your Linux system, you would require a reboot before the changes take effect.  What it means is that you would need take the system offline and halt all the running services on your network.  In short, downtime!

Can you imagine having to schedule a downtime for every kernel update?  And do not be mistaken, because even the most trusted providers such as Red Hat, Ubuntu and Debian have numerous kernel updates over a single year.

You could say that you could avoid downtimes by not applying the kernel updates.  We say that that would work only if you want to have flaws and vulnerabilities present in your software, and these flaws could lead to unplanned and even longer downtimes.

So what should you do?

You can use Ksplice to say goodbye to kernel updates that are filled with hassle and downtime.

Ksplice is a range of tools that you could use to patch a kernel while it runs.  You no longer have to reboot.

And the good news is that Ksplice is free to use.

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What does Ksplice do?

 

Ksplice needs three things to do its magic: the existing kernel, the source code for the kernel and the unified diff files that have all the patch information.  The software will look at the existing kernel, look for the errant object or code that the patch wants to replace, and replace these with the new code.

The best thing about this is that Ksplice works fast.  It will only interrupt your system’s operations for less than a millisecond.  What this means is that your connections, processes and daemons will continue to run while Ksplice does its work.

Ksplice comes in three different flavors so that you can use it with a graphical user interface, raw tools or high-level command line utilities.

 

Ksplice limitations

 

Ksplice was designed to make patches easy to do without interruptions and to be fully automatic.  This is the reason why you could run Ksplice out of the box if the patch you are going to apply does not involve semantic changes to existing data structures.  That being said, you could do a majority of kernel patches with Ksplice.

For those that do require semantic changes to data structures, you would need to have a programmer help you with the patch.  You would need to add some short codes for Ksplice to work.

 

Another reason to use Oracle

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Ksplice represents another reason to use Oracle over other Linux distributions.  Ksplice is owned by Oracle, with the latter buying the former in 2011.  Oracle announced that time that they intend to be the only enterprise Linux distributor that can use the Ksplice technology.  They also revealed that they would not be providing support for Red Hat users.

Four Cornerstone can help you with Ksplice.  We can help you patch and update your systems.  We have a team of highly qualified experts who could work with you to make sure that you get the most out of your IT investments.  Call us today!

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