Live Kernel Patching Update

In the year since I first wrote about kpatch, Red Hat’s live kernel patching project for Linux, we’ve been very busy.  Here are some of the highlights from the last year of live kernel patching development, and some clues about where we may be headed in the future.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Special Interest Group

In 2014, we kicked off a kpatch Special Interest Group (SIG) for users who are interested in trying out kpatch in a Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 environment.  We’ve delivered kpatch fixes for several kernel CVEs, allowing users to easily apply fixes to their kernels immediately with no disruption or reboots necessary.

If you’re a Red Hat Enterprise Linux customer and are interested in joining the kpatch SIG

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Introducing kpatch: Dynamic Kernel Patching

In upstream development news, the kernel team here at Red Hat has been working on a dynamic kernel patching project called kpatch for several months.   At long last, the project has reached a point where we feel it’s ready for a wider audience and are very excited to announce that we’ve released the kpatch code under GPLv2.

kpatch allows you to patch a Linux kernel without rebooting or restarting any processes.  This enables sysadmins to apply critical security patches to the kernel immediately, without having to wait for long-running tasks to complete, users to log off, or scheduled reboot windows.  It gives more control over uptime without sacrificing security or stability.

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