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10 February 2010, 10:58

Ksplice Uptrack - reboot free Linux kernel patching

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Zoom Ksplice promises to eliminate the reboots required for security-related kernel updates.
US vendor Ksplice has announced the general availability of its Uptrack service which provides various Linux distributions such as CentOS, Debian GNU/Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu with kernel corrections that can be installed while systems are running. This is designed to reduce system down time: Installing a kernel update usually requires a system reboot.

Ksplice converts the updates released by distributors and makes them available on a subscription basis. The service is free of charge for Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10. For enterprise distributions, the vendor charges $4 per system for less than twenty systems and $3 for larger numbers.

Run-time kernel patching was made possible by the Ksplice technology developed at MIT and first attracted attention in April 2008. At the time, it seemed that the technology would be integrated into the Linux main development branch, which was the Ksplice developers' goal. However, Ksplice has hardly been mentioned on the Linux Kernel Mailing List in recent months, which makes its integration into the standard kernel, in the near future, unlikely.


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