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Fedora Linux by Chris Tyler

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Automating Updates

One of the main reasons that packages are updated is to correct newly discovered security vulnerabilities. It’s important to keep a system up-to-date so that these security vulnerabilities are eliminated as soon as fixes are made available.

Automating system updates makes this easy. Fedora is configured to perform updates automatically; all you need to do is turn this feature on.

How Do I Do That?

Before turning on automatic updates, it’s important to verify that yum is configured with the right options:

  1. Repackaging should be enabled (see Lab 5.4, “Rolling Back a Package Installation, Upgrade, or Removal”) so that you can recover from a bad update. Make sure you have plenty of disk space for the repackage repository!

  2. Ensure that yum is enabled only for the repositories that you wish to automatically update (see Lab 5.3, “Using Repositories”).

  3. Exclude any packages that you do not wish to update automatically. In particular, think carefully about whether you want the kernel to be updated without your knowledge; such a change won’t take effect until the next time the system boots, but changing the kernel can cause some software or services to fail until kernel modules are updated to match the new kernel.

Once you have yum configured the way you want, configure yum-updatesd to automatically apply updates. The configuration file /etc/yum-updatesd.conf initially looks like this:

[main] # how often to check for new updates (in seconds) run_interval = 3600 # how often to ...

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