Handling Kernel Updates


I'm just wondering how Kernel updates should be handled, mostly for security/bug fixes.

Currently on my Linode I'm running, however what happens when security updates are needed? Does the host node deal these and somehow manage to keep my server up during the kernel upgrade (since I have 212 days uptime … )

Do I need to reboot every now and then to get latest kernel? Also, what kernel would you suggest I go for when running Debian Lenny, it ships with 2.6.26, so running 2.6.18 in my mind seems like it would cause issues (which, it isn't and hasn't btw, just curious).


4 Replies

Linode updates their kernels if there are important security issues. Select 'Latest 2.6 Series' (currently to run the most up-to-date Linode kernel. You nedd to reboot to change kernels. If you want to run a more recent kernel, use pv-grub to boot the Xen version of the kernel of your choice.

Indeed, though I'm more asking about how they are handled. I mean, if the host node gets kernel updates it needs a reboot, correct? So afaik my Linode will also go down. Is this what happens, or does the host nodes have the capability to update the kernel in real time (I've heard about this before, so it is possible) and so affect my Linode as well?

Guest kernel updates are simply made available, nothing else is automatic. You have to reboot your Linode (after selecting the new kernel, unless you have 'Latest 2.6' selected) for the change to take effect.

Host kernel updates require a reboot of the physical machine. Linodes come back up in the same configuration that they were in before the update.


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