Home Open Source Canonical announces live kernel patching for Ubuntu

Canonical announces live kernel patching for Ubuntu

Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, has announced that it will provide a live kernel patching services for version 16.04 which was released in April.

Users will be able to use the service for up to three machines without having to pay. Ubuntu 16.04 is a long-term support release and is based on kernel version 4.4.

Live patching is nothing new; both SUSE Linux and Red Hat introduced the technology in 2014. SUSE, with kernel development chief Vojtěch Pavlík leading the way, called its solution kGraft, while Red Hat called its solution kpatch.

Both solutions were announced in February 2014. They were primarily targeted at businesses that want or need continuous uptime.

The Ubuntu live patch service is available for more than three machines for a fee.

A media release about the Ubuntu live patching technology quoted Canonical Ubuntu product and strategy manager Dustin Kirkland as saying: "Kernel live patching enables runtime correction of critical security issues in your kernel without rebooting.

"It’s the best way to ensure that machines are safe at the kernel level, while guaranteeing uptime, especially for container hosts where a single machine may be running thousands of different workloads.”

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.