3.8 Updating the Ksplice Uptrack Client to a Specific Effective Kernel Version

Under some circumstances, you might want to limit the set of updates that uptrack-upgrade installations. For example, the security policy at your site might require a senior administrator to approve Ksplice updates before you can install these updates 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.


Oracle Ksplice is intended to provide the latest security and stability fixes, and the goal is 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 enables 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.

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

    For an Oracle Linux 5 client, use the following command:

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

    # uptrack-uname -r
  3. To list all of the effective kernel versions that are available, specify the --list-effective option to the uptrack-upgrade command, for example:

    # 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, which is 44.1.1 in the following example:

    # uptrack-remove --all
    # uptrack-uname -r
  5. You can set the effective kernel version that you want the system to use by using either of the following methods:

    • Specify the --effective option to the uptrack-upgrade command.

      For example, if you want to update from 44.1.1 to 44.1.5 instead of updating to the latest 55.1.1, use the --effective option to specify 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

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

    • Use the effective_version option in the /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf file to set an effective package version for the uptrack-upgrade command. This method works the same as specifying --effective on the command line.

      Because uptrack-upgrade runs automatically whenever you update the uptrack-updates package on a system, the following 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 version for a package on multiple production systems, where the content of the /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf file can be obtained from a centrally maintained master copy.