1.11 Updating to a Specific Effective Kernel Version

Under some circumstances, you might want to limit the set of updates that uptrack-upgrade installs. For example, the security policy at your site might require a senior administrator to approve Ksplice updates before you can install them on production systems. In such cases, you can direct uptrack-upgrade to upgrade to a specific effective kernel version instead of the latest available version.

The options for selecting a specific effective version are only available in the Ksplice Offline Client for use with the offline update RPM packages.

Note

Ksplice is intended to provide the latest security and stability fixes, and the goal is always to get the effective kernel up-to-date as soon as possible. Choosing a specific effective kernel version is only intended to allow the offline update RPM package to be updated, without immediately applying the latest available patches bundled in that package. This allows production systems to remain temporarily at a tested update level, while the latest updates are tested in an integration or UAT environment.

To update a system to a specific effective kernel version:

  1. Install the uptrack-updates package for the current kernel.

    For an Oracle Linux 5 client, use this command:

    # yum -y install uptrack-updates-`uname -r`.`uname -m`

    For an Oracle Linux 6 or Oracle Linux 7 client, use this command:

    # yum -y install uptrack-updates-`uname -r`
  2. Use uptrack-uname -r to display the current effective kernel version:

    # uptrack-uname -r
    3.8.13-55.1.1.el6uek.x86_64
  3. List all effective kernel versions that are available, specify the --list-effective option to uptrack-upgrade:

    # uptrack-upgrade --list-effective
    Available effective kernel versions:
    
    3.8.13-44.1.1.el6uek.x86_64/#2 SMP Wed Sep 10 06:10:25 PDT 2014
    3.8.13-44.1.3.el6uek.x86_64/#2 SMP Wed Oct 15 19:53:10 PDT 2014
    3.8.13-44.1.4.el6uek.x86_64/#2 SMP Wed Oct 29 23:58:06 PDT 2014
    3.8.13-44.1.5.el6uek.x86_64/#2 SMP Wed Nov 12 14:23:31 PST 2014
    3.8.13-55.el6uek.x86_64/#2 SMP Mon Dec 1 11:32:40 PST 2014
    3.8.13-55.1.1.el6uek.x86_64/#2 SMP Thu Dec 11 00:20:49 PST 2014
  4. Remove the installed updates to revert the effective kernel version to the earliest that is available (in this example, 44.1.1):

    # uptrack-remove --all
    ...
    # uptrack-uname -r
    3.8.13-44.1.1.el6uek.x86_64
  5. You can set the effective kernel version that you want the system to use in either of the following ways:

    • Specify the --effective option to uptrack-upgrade. For example, if you want to update from 44.1.1 to 44.1.5 instead of to the latest 55.1.1, use the --effective option to upgrade to 44.1.5:

      # uptrack-upgrade --effective="3.8.13-44.1.5.el6uek.x86_64/#2 SMP Wed Nov 12 14:23:31 PST 2014"
      ...
      Effective kernel version is 3.8.13-44.1.5.el6uek
      # uptrack-uname -r
      3.8.13-44.1.5.el6uek.x86_64

      This method is suitable for setting the effective kernel version on individual systems.

    • Use the effective_version option in /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf to set an effective kernel version for uptrack-upgrade as though you had specified --effective on the command line. As uptrack-upgrade runs automatically whenever you update the uptrack-updates package on a system, the following example entry would limit the effective kernel version to 44.1.5:

      effective_version = 3.8.13-44.1.5.el6uek.x86_64/#2 SMP Wed Nov 12 14:23:31 PST 2014

      This method is convenient for setting the effective kernel version on multiple production systems, where the content of /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf could be obtained from a centrally maintained master copy.