Say Goodbye to Reboots with Ksplice

Linux is famous for uptime, but even it has to reboot when a new kernel vulnerability is fixed. Or does it? Now there's Ksplice, technology that applies patches directly into the running kernel. And thanks to their free Uptrack service it's free for users of Ubuntu!

Linux is famous for its stability and for having computers which have been online without being rebooted for years at a time. Indeed, among the geek community the longer your computer has been online the more “respect” you get. It’s called “uptime”, the amount of time your computer has been up for without needing a reboot.

Due to its open source nature, new security holes are found and fixed constantly on Linux distributions. Many of these updates are for user space applications such as web servers, databases, office programs and the wider desktop environment. Distributions will package these fixes and distribute them via the standard package management system, however via this method applications and daemons need to be restarted in order to load the new safe program.

When it comes to the Linux kernel itself, the usual way to achieve this is to reboot the computer. Naturally, this also means that all of the applications will be closed and daemons stopped, before being restarted after a successful reboot. Uptime is especially important for servers, as they need to be online and accessible as much as possible.

So what’s the problem? Well in order to provide maximum uptime, many users and administrators will not restart their systems in order to load the new kernel because of the inconvenience of having to stop the system. It’s a trade-off that can be dangerous because the system is still vulnerable! Just six days after a particular vulnerability in the kernel was discovered, many servers had been compromised including one in use by the Debian GNU/Linux project.

It’s simply just not feasible to reboot a machine every time a kernel vulnerability is discovered. There has to be a better way.

Enter Ksplice, a solution to the problem. Ksplice is a suite of tools which can apply patches directly into a running kernel resulting in an instantly patched system without a single interruption. No need to reboot the system or restart any services! If Debian had been running Ksplice they could have patched that vulnerable system live, not long after the vulnerability was found and fixed, without a single moment of downtime. The beauty of this method is that any number of patches can be applied. If there was a vulnerability found every hour, Ksplice could patch the kernel every hour also, all without skipping a beat. Left to the old ways, the server would need to be rebooted every hour or left vulnerable and rebooted later!

Work on Ksplice is currently focusing on the Linux kernel, but the technology could be taken and applied to user space applications also. The project has just announced the availability of a free service called Uptrack, for users of the latest Ubuntu offering, Jaunty Jackalope 9.04. That’s right, you can take advantage of this great project right on your own machine. But would users really want such a product?

The Ksplice team has done a great job at integrating their Uptrack service with an easy to use graphical interface. Installation is simple, just download the package from their website and open it with the GDebi installer (the default option). Users must agree to a terms of service, which includes a reference to the GPLv2 – the free software license the software is released under. Upon completion of the installation, the Uptrack manager will be run automatically. It looks similar to the system update-manager and is very easy to use. The application connects to the online service to determine what updates are available for the running kernel. The list is then presented and the user can install them at the click of a button. It all works very well and was very fast. Each time you log onto the system, the Ksplice updater will start with an icon present in the system tray and automatically check for updates in the background, prompting you when new ones are available.

Ksplice Uptrack Manager
Ksplice Uptrack Manager

Kernel updates under Ubuntu currently involve a delayed release system. Individual fixes are not released and installed separately, but rather are grouped together in a whole new kernel release. The issue with this is that the system will be vulnerable from the time the security flaw exists, until the new kernel is released through the update system. Not only this, but once you have downloaded and installed the new kernel update, you still need to reboot your computer for the fixes to take effect. If you’re busy, this would further increase the amount of time your system is vulnerable.

Using Ksplice however, it doesn’t matter whether the new kernel update from Ubuntu is downloaded or not. In fact, doesn’t matter if the computer is rebooted ever again! The system will always be patched with the latest fixes. Ksplice does this by determining what kernel is running and then after talking to the online Uptrack service, it downloads and patches any new fixes directly into the running kernel. These fixes are based on those sitting in Ubuntu’s Git source tree, waiting to be rolled into the next kernel update.

If a new kernel from Ubuntu is downloaded and installed via the system’s update service, then Ksplice will detect this after a reboot and then install any new fixes for that kernel too. It’s a simple as that. No matter which way you want to work, Ksplice will ensure that your kernel is always secure and up-to-date.

Upon a reboot the Ksplice boot time service starts up (just after Apparmor) and applies all of the patches for the kernel before your computer continues to boot any further. On an Intel Core2 machine this delayed the boot process by about eight seconds for nine patches, but considering the amount of time saved for future updates (and reboots) it’s a small price to pay! All future updates for the kernel will be applied in realtime via the graphical interface, naturally without a reboot.

The implementation so far appears to work very well, but only for the current kernel version that’s running. While it is possible to have a completely rebootless update system because Ksplice will always individually patch what Ubuntu releases as a whole new kernel update, the current updating system in Ubuntu makes it appear as though updates are required. In fact, installing a new kernel in Ubuntu prompts the user to tell them they must reboot. With Ksplice that’s actually no longer required. Perhaps this is an area that the Ksplice team could work on more closely with Canonical? Either way, the first step is to get as many people using the system as possible! Nevertheless this technology is nothing to be sneezed at. What it does, it does very well indeed and the team are to be congratulated on such an amazing project and implementation. It’s truly first class!

It might be great on servers, but why would a desktop user care? Many users switch their computer off at night anyway, so updates which come in during the day requiring a reboot won’t be a hassle. The biggest advantage comes from servers where uptime is important, but it does have a purpose for desktops too. Firstly, by using Ksplice you don’t have to reboot straight away when you get a new kernel update – you can take your time. Secondly, you are protected with all updates for the time between official kernel updates from Ubuntu.

Certainly most desktop users will probably feel that their system is secure enough and not feel the need for such a service. After all, most desktops rarely face the Internet directly like a server might. Even so, the more layers of security and protection one can have on their system the better. Finally, the Ksplice team really has done a first class job at implementing the technology. It’s just so easy for end users to install and use. So if you’re on Ubuntu Jaunty, why not give it a try? It’s a free service which helps to keep your system all that much more secure, without getting in the way of your work.

The technology used in Ksplice is very exciting. It makes a lot of sense and one has to wonder why it’s only being “discovered” now. One day in the future when Ksplice becomes the norm, we’ll look back and wonder what we ever used to do before rebootless updates came on the scene.

Comments on "Say Goodbye to Reboots with Ksplice"

Usually posts some incredibly exciting stuff like this. If you?re new to this site.

My wife and i got thankful that Jordan could complete his studies by way of the precious recommendations he came across while using the weblog. It is now and again perplexing to just be freely giving instructions that the others might have been trying to sell. So we discover we have got the blog owner to appreciate because of that. These illustrations you made, the easy blog navigation, the relationships you can aid to instill – it is mostly superb, and it is facilitating our son in addition to our family understand that situation is thrilling, and that is pretty fundamental. Many thanks for everything!

The information and facts talked about inside the write-up are a few of the ideal out there.

Sites of interest we have a link to.

Please visit the sites we follow, including this a single, as it represents our picks through the web.

Please check out the internet sites we comply with, which includes this a single, because it represents our picks through the web.

Very couple of sites that happen to be detailed beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly properly really worth checking out.

One of our visitors lately proposed the following website.

Usually posts some incredibly exciting stuff like this. If you are new to this site.

I have been surfing online morfe than 4 hours today, yet I never found any
ibteresting article like yours. It’s prettyy worth enough for me.
Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content
as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.|
I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!|
I will immediately seize your rsss as I can’t find
your e-mail subscription hyperlink oor e-newsletter service.
Do you’ve any? Please let me recognise iin order that I may
just subscribe. Thanks.|
It is tthe best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be
happy. I’ve read this post and iif I could I wish to suggest
you some interesting things or suggestions.
Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
I want to read even more things about it!|
It is the best time to make a few plans for the future and
it is ime to be happy. I have learn this post and if I may just I want to suggest you some
interesting issues oor suggestions. Maybe you can write ubsequent articles relating to
this article. I want to read more issues approximately it!|
I have been browsing on-line more thyan three hours lately, yet
I never discovered any fascinating article like yours. It’s lovely
value enough for me. Personally, iff all web owners
and bloggers made excellent content as yoou probably
did, the web might be much more hlpful than ever before.|
Ahaa, its pleasant dialogue concerning this post here at
this webpage, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.|
I aam sure this pirce of writing has touched all tthe internet visitors, its
really really good paragraph on building up new weblog.|
Wow, this piece of writing is good, my sister is analyzing these
things, thus I am going to tell her.|
bookmarked!!, I really like your website!|
Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article annd the rest
oof the site is also verry good.|
Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it ;) I may return yet againn since I book-marked it.
Money and freedom is the greatest way tto change, maay you be rihh and continue to
guide others.|
Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme
of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective.
A lot of times it’s togh to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability
and visual appeal. I mmust say you have done a very
good job with this. Also, the blog loads extrejely quick
for me oon Internet explorer. Outstanding Blog!|
These are genuinely impressive ideas in concerning blogging.
You have touched some pleasant things here. Any way keeep up wrinting.|
I really like what you guys are uup too. Such clever work and coverage!
Keep up the terrific works guys I’ve incorporated you
guys to our blogroll.|
Heey there! Someonne in my Facebook group shared this wesite wth us
so I came to tke a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking
and will be tweeting this to my followers!
Superb blog and brilliant design and style.|
I love what you guys are usually up too. This type off clever wortk and reporting!Keep up the fanttastic works guys I’ve included you guys to blogroll.|
Hello would yyou mind sharing which bllog platform you’re using?
I’m planning to start myy own log soon butt I’m
having a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
The reason I ask is ecause your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m
looking for something completely unique.
P.S My apologies for being off-topic buut I had to ask!|
Howdy would yyou mind letting me know which hosting company
you’reusing? I’ve loaded youur blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot aster then most.

Caan you sugggest a gold internet hosting provider at a reasonable price?
Kudos, I appreciate it!|
I lke it when folks get together and share views.
Great blog, keep iit up!|
Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
Look avanced to far added agreeable from you!
By thee way, how can we communicate?|
Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post seeem to be running off
the screen in Internet explorer. I’m not sure if this is a formattikng issue or something to ddo with wweb browser compatibility but I figured I’d post too let you know.
The stylke and design look greatt though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Cheers|
This is a topoic that’s nnear to my heart… Take care!
Exactly where are your contact details though?|
It’s very straightforward to find out any matter oon nett as compared to textbooks,
as I found this piece of wtiting at this website.|
Does your website have a contact page? I’m having problems lokcating itt but, I’d like tto send you ann e-mail.
I’ve got some creative ideaas for your blog you might be
interested in hearing. Either way, great blog annd I look forward to seeing
itt improve over time.|
Greetings! I’ve been reading your web site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout outt from Lubbocck Tx!Just wanted to tell you
keep up the good job!|
Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to deqth at work soo I
decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break.
I really like the knowledge you present here and can’t wwait to take a look when I
get home. I’m amazed at how quick your bloog loaded on my cell phhone ..
I’m not evgen usinng WIFI, justt 3G .. Anyhow, amazing site!|
Its such as you read my thoughts! You seem to undewrstand so muuch about this, like you wrote the e book
in it or something. I believe that you could do witgh some
% to force the message house a little bit,
however instead of that, that is magnificent blog.
A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.|
I visited many sites however the audio feature for audio songs curent at this web sie
is genuinely wonderful.|
Howdy, i read your blkog occasionally and i own a similar one and
i was just wondering if you get a lot off spam comments? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin orr
anything you can suggest? I geet so much lately
it’s driving me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.|
Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
It is the little changes which will make the greatest changes.
Many thanks foor sharing!|
I really love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you create this web
site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my
very own site and want to know where you got tjis from
or just wha the theme iis called. Manyy thanks!|
Howdy! This blog post couuld not bee written much
better! Reading through thnis post reminds me
of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking aabout
this. I am going to forward this article to him. Fairly certain he’s going too have a great
read. Maany thanks for sharing!|
Incredible! This blog looks just like my old one!
It’s on a entirely different subject butt it has ppretty much the same layout annd design. Superb choide oof colors!|
There’s definately a grreat deal to find out about thus issue.

I really like aall the points you have made.|
You have made some decent pointts there. I looked on the web to find
out more abouit the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.|
What’s up, I check ylur new stuff like every week. Your story-telling style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!|
I simmply coulld not leave your web site prior to suggesting that I extremely loved thee standard information a perfson provide for your guests?
Is goping to be again often in order to investigaqte cross-check new posts|
I need to to thank you for tis excellennt read!! I certainly
loved every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at nnew things you post…|
Hello, just wanted to mention, I loved this blog post.

It was inspiring. Keep on posting!|
Hi there, Ienjoy reading through your post. I wanted
to write a little comment too support you.|
I always spent my half ann hour to read thjs blog’s content all the time along with
a mug of coffee.|
I alwayhs emailed thi blog pst page to all my associates, for the reawson thawt if like to read it after that my contacts will too.|
My develope iis trying to conmvince me to move tto .net from
PHP. I have always disliked thee idea ecause of the expenses.

But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on numerous websites for
about a year and am concerned about switching to another
platform. I have heard fantastic things abbout blogengine.net.
Is there a way I can import all my wordpress ontent
imto it? Any help would bbe really appreciated!|
Hi! I could have sworn I’ve viskted this ite before but after going through many of the posts
I realized it’s neew to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely pleased I
came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!|
Terrific work! That is the type of info that shoud be shared across the net.
Shame on the search engines for now not positioning this publish upper!
Come on over and consult with my web site . Thanks =)|
Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really usefil & it helped me out
a lot. I hope tto give something back and help others like you helped
Howdy, I believe your web site could bee having web beowser compatibility issues.

Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it
looks fine but wnen opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues.
I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, great website!|
A person necessarily assist to make seriously articles I’d state.
This is thhe first time I frequented yor web page and so far?
I amazed with the analysis you made to create this actujal submit
extraordinary. Great task!|
Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I in finding
It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and aid others such
as you helped me.|
Howdy! I just wish to give you a huge thumbs up for the exxellent info you’ve got riht here on this post.
I will be coming bacck to your website for more soon.|
I always used to read piece of writing in news papers but now as
I am a uzer of internet so from now I am using net for
content, thanks to web.|
Your means oof explaining the whole thing in this
post is actually nice, every one be able to effortlessly understand it, Thankls a lot.|
Hello there, I fouynd your website by wayy of Google even aas looking for a similar
matter, your website got here up, it looks great.

I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

Hi there, simply was alert to your weblog via Google, and found that it is truly informative.
I am going to watch out for brussels. I’ll bee grateful should you proceed this iin future.
Maany other folks shall be benefited from your writing.
I’m curious to find out whatt blog platform you’re
utilizing? I’m experiencing some minor security problems with my latest blog and I
would like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any suggestions?|
I’m extrmely impressed with your writing skills as well as
with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid tyeme or did you customize
it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see
a great blolg like this one these days.|
I’m really inspired with your writing talents as neatly as with the structure for your weblog.
Is that this a paid subject orr did you customize iit
yourself? Either way stay up the excelllent quality writing, it is rare to look a great weblog like this one these days..|
Hi, Neatt post. There’s a problem along with
your web site in internet explorer, might test this?

IE nonetheless is the marketgplace leader and a good cimponent to people
will leave outt your magnificent writing because of this problem.|
I’m not suure where you are getting your information, but
good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding
more. Thanks for fantastic informmation I was looking for this information for myy mission.|
Hi, i think that i saw you visited my bllog so i came to
“return thee favor”.I’m tryinmg tto findd things to enhance
my web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of yo\

That would be the end of this write-up. Here you will obtain some sites that we believe you will appreciate, just click the links.

Here are some of the web sites we advise for our visitors.

F*ckin’ tremendous things here. I am very happy to look your post. Thank you so much and i am having a look ahead to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?

Remarkable! Its actually amazing post, I have got much clear idea regarding from this paragraph.

Also visit my web blog … MartinJDebey

Although internet sites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they are actually worth a go through, so possess a look.

Here are some links to web-sites that we link to since we assume they are really worth visiting.

That would be the finish of this post. Here you will uncover some websites that we consider you will enjoy, just click the hyperlinks.

There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I believe you made certain good points in features also.

Here is a good Weblog You may Uncover Exciting that we encourage you to visit.

We like to honor numerous other web websites on the web, even though they aren?t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages worth checking out.

We like to honor several other world-wide-web internet sites on the net, even when they aren?t linked to us, by linking to them. Below are some webpages worth checking out.

Every as soon as inside a even though we select blogs that we study. Listed below are the newest web-sites that we select.

The time to read or take a look at the content material or sites we have linked to beneath.

Below you will locate the link to some web-sites that we assume you need to visit.

Just beneath, are quite a few completely not connected sites to ours, on the other hand, they are surely really worth going over.

That would be the end of this write-up. Right here you?ll find some internet sites that we think you will value, just click the hyperlinks.

Here is a great Weblog You may Locate Interesting that we encourage you to visit.

Every when inside a even though we select blogs that we study. Listed beneath would be the newest internet sites that we decide on.

Hello, i think that i saw you visited my website thus i stumbled
on ?return the favor?.I’m seeking to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its ok to work with a
number of your opinions!!

my page :: JimmyCJegede

One of our guests recently proposed the following website.

We came across a cool internet site which you could possibly delight in. Take a look in the event you want.

Please visit the sites we follow, which includes this 1, because it represents our picks through the web.

Please take a look at the sites we stick to, which includes this a single, because it represents our picks through the web.

Here are some links to web-sites that we link to for the reason that we believe they may be really worth visiting.

Check below, are some absolutely unrelated web-sites to ours, nevertheless, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use.

Here are several of the sites we suggest for our visitors.

Here is a superb Weblog You might Locate Intriguing that we encourage you to visit.

Here are some hyperlinks to web-sites that we link to due to the fact we believe they are really worth visiting.

Very few websites that transpire to become in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well worth checking out.

Very couple of websites that take place to become in depth below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well really worth checking out.

Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated data, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a appear, whoa did a single learn about Mid East has got more problerms too.

Check beneath, are some absolutely unrelated websites to ours, nonetheless, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use.

I would like to show some appreciation to you just for rescuing me from such a scenario. Right after searching throughout the search engines and coming across ideas which are not beneficial, I figured my entire life was well over. Existing minus the strategies to the difficulties you’ve fixed as a result of your entire report is a crucial case, and those that could have negatively affected my career if I had not encountered your web blog. Your actual know-how and kindness in playing with a lot of things was crucial. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a thing like this. I can also now look ahead to my future. Thanks so much for your expert and result oriented guide. I will not think twice to suggest your web blog to any individual who needs to have direction about this issue.

Although websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they’re basically really worth a go by way of, so have a look.

Every once in a while we select blogs that we study. Listed beneath are the most recent web-sites that we opt for.

Check beneath, are some completely unrelated sites to ours, on the other hand, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use.

I found myself recommended this blog by my cousin. I’m
uncertain whether this post is created by him as no one
else know such detailed about my problem. You might be incredible!

Stop by my web page: BoydAStroh

Every the moment inside a although we decide on blogs that we read. Listed below are the most up-to-date web-sites that we pick.

Just beneath, are several completely not associated sites to ours, on the other hand, they’re surely worth going over.

Here are some of the web-sites we advocate for our visitors.

Leave a Reply