Ksplice is an update service that automatically applies patches to the Linux kernel without requiring a reboot of the computer. This way you can keep your system up to date and secure without losing precious uptime.
You may need to modify some code to be able to apply this patch with certain updates. This is why the folks at ksplice offer a subscription to allow you to keep on updating your kernel without having to modify the code yourself for us non-kernel hacker types.
However free updates are available for Ubuntu users thanks to sponsors.
The first thing you will need to do is get an access key.
Getting the access key
Go to this page and request the access key to be sent to your e-mail. This should be done fairly quickly, say within 10 minutes. If you don't receive it, check that you are not accidentally blocking it with a spam filter.
Next you will install the software from the ksplice repositories
Adding the Repositories
We will now create a file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ called ksplice.list
To do this, open a terminal and type:
sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ksplice.list
This will prompt you for your password; enter it.
Then we will add these two lines:
deb http://www.ksplice.com/apt jaunty ksplice deb-src http://www.ksplice.com/apt jaunty ksplice
This is for the Jaunty repositories. For Karmic you need these lines:
deb http://www.ksplice.com/apt karmic ksplice deb-src http://www.ksplice.com/apt karmic ksplice
Save (Ctrl+W in nano) and exit (Ctrl+X)
Updating and installing
These following commands will install ksplice. It would be a good idea to wait until you have your access key before starting since it will be requested during these steps.
sudo wget -N https://www.ksplice.com/apt/ksplice-archive.asc sudo apt-key add ksplice-archive.asc sudo aptitude update sudo aptitude install uptrack
After entering sudo aptitude install uptrack you will be prompted for your access key.
Installing the graphical manager
This next step is not strictly necessary, but it is useful. To install the graphical installer, just enter the following command:
sudo aptitude install uptrack-manager
This should show up immediately after it finishes installing in the notices section of your taskbar.
When you have updates it should look something like this:
Just click on the icon and the updates will be visible. Click Install all Updates to apply them. You will be prompted for your password and after you have entered it and clicked OK they will install.
Once all is done updating the icon should look like this:
If you install and it already looks like this, that means you are already up to date on you kernel updates. Sadly (or happily) this means you will have to wait a while before you will see ksplice in action.
Enable automatic updates (optional)
This next step is something you have to decide for yourself if you wish to do it. If you enable automatic updates, they will install themselves without your needing to click install every time. This is nice and good for those who have plenty of bandwidth, but sometimes people might want to hold off a few hours before installing an update. The choice is yours.
The Uptrack client will run periodically (via cron) to check for new updates. In the file /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf, you can configure Uptrack to automatically install new updates, or just notify you when they are available. To enable this feature, open your favourate text editor (we will use nano) and type the following:
sudo nano /etc/uptrack/uptrack.conf
This will open the file. Scroll down to the part that says:
# Cron job will install updates automatically autoinstall = no
And change it to:
# Cron job will install updates automatically autoinstall = yes
Then save your changes and exit.
A few useful links are: