RE: Live Upgrade for Linux

From: Rohan, Daniel G. (DRohan@anl.gov)
Date: 03/26/03

  • Next message: mlh@zipperii.zip.com.au: "Re: Live Upgrade for Linux"
    Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 14:29:50 -0600
    From: "Rohan, Daniel G." <DRohan@anl.gov>
    To: "Kelly Sauke" <ksauke@fastenal.com>
    
    

    Kelly,

    What I have done on some critical servers is create a /alt_root under
    which I do a dump piped to a restore into this directory. I then
    patch/upgrade my system leaving this directory alone. I then adjust the
    file /alt_root/etc/fstab to the correct device parameters. Then, if
    something goes wrong, then I can simply change my 'root' kernel
    parameter in grub or lilo and boot off of the original partition.

    As a technical detail, I believe that you could even use the same /boot
    partition; this partition does not change radically in upgrades, and
    should be usable as long as the old kernels and initrd images were
    saved. I cannot verify this because I usually have not created /boot
    partitions. Silly me.

    > Its a complete boot environment copy that you can do anything
    > to and then just reboot off the new environment without having to
    touch
    > the 'live' environment.

    As far as the ability to do an upgrade to an alternate directory tree
    while leaving the existing running environment stable...I don't think it
    exists in the linux world. Please let me know if it does.

    -Daniel Rohan

    ======================
    Daniel G. Rohan
    Argonne National Laboratory

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Kelly Sauke [mailto:ksauke@fastenal.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2003 2:20 PM
    To: Kelly Sauke
    Cc: focus-linux@securityfocus.com
    Subject: Re: Live Upgrade for Linux

    Maybe I need a little clarification of what Live Upgrade does. I've
    gotten a lot of response of what I would call installer utilities but
    not a Live Upgrade (if I'm wrong please point it out to me). What Live
    Upgrade does under solaris is it creates a complete alternate boot
    environment with a root /usr /var and any other filesystem you want.
    Then you can apply patches etc to this other boot environment and boot
    off of that. If there is something in the patch that doesn't work or
    screws up the machine, then you just reboot off the original boot
    environment and you're back to where you were before upgrading and still

    have access to the patched boot environment to fix it. Its great for
    upgrading production type servers because the 'back out plan' if you
    will is nothing more than reboot off the old boot environment. In other

    words you have 2 / filesystems, 2 /usr's, 2 /var's as well as 2
    kernels. Its a complete boot environment copy that you can do anything
    to and then just reboot off the new environment without having to touch
    the 'live' environment.

    For those that were asking, I'm running RedHat Advanced Server. I
    appreciate the responses.

    Thanks,
    Kelly

    Kelly Sauke wrote:

    > Does anyone know of any software for linux that acts similar to "Live
    > Upgrade" in Solaris or "Alternate Release Areas" in DG/UX?
    > I would find it very useful for upgrading and patching as well as
    > security audits to the applied OS "patches".
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > KS
    >


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