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ksplice is an open source extension of the Linux kernel which allows system administrators to apply security patches to a running kernel without having to reboot the operating system. (From Wikipedia.)

Is there a downside to using ksplice? Does it introduce any kind of instability? If not, why is it not included by default in more Linux distributions?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Technically it's very sound, I think that the fact distributions do provide this method of patching yet is:

  • It does not integrate with the existing update methods (packaging wise)

  • It adds to the burden of the distro to provide another method of upgrading.

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+1 to that. There would be MANY intricacies to tracking a hot-patched kernel and what hot-patches were applied. And it doesn't even begin to touch what happens if even a non-hotpatched system would have crashed on a kernel upgrade(panic,fail to boot, etc). I like having the fall-back option...I don't know if ksplice duplicates the running kernel as a backup or not. – hbdgaf Apr 11 '11 at 17:57

(A disclaimer: I work for Ksplice.)

Re: "Is there a downside to using Ksplice?" you may find the answer to a similar question over at ServerFault to be useful:

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I don't know why you disclaim anything here, you didn't actually answer the question here... It's generally considered bad behavior for your answer to simply be a link. – xenoterracide Mar 26 '11 at 16:17
Not sure - but as it is linking to a duplicate, even on ServerFault, I do not think it should have been copied to here. – Volker Siegel Apr 1 '14 at 15:23

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