Kevin Kempf's Blog

January 24, 2013

Ksplice … another reason to love Oracle Linux

Filed under: Linux — kkempf @ 5:00 pm

Oracle Linux Support Flavors

So we went to renew our Oracle Linux licensing this year, and I realized I needed to add a host.  In the course of these negotiations, I thought I’d see what the cost would be to move to Oracle Premier Limited Support (2 sockets per host) or Oracle Premier Unlimited Support (any number of sockets per host).   It turned out, the incremental cost was insignificant, and I was really interested in leveraging Ksplice.  So now we own it.   I should note, that about a year ago ksplice was only available for the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) but that has changed and is now available for the RedHat compatible kernel.  This was a huge factor in my decision to go forward with it.

For the past year, we ran our production 11i servers on Oracle Linux basic support.  It’s not often that I say this, but my expectations were exceeded by Oracle.  Not only did the systems run without incident, but Oracle support capably handled all my SR’s and in many ways surpassed the level of support which I get from another, similar linux provider who I also pay for.

What is Ksplice?

Ksplice is a way to patch, in memory, a running kernel.   You can check out the propoganda here.  Some months, it seems like the kernels are coming out faster than I can keep up with.  It never fails that one comes out as soon as I finish rebooting all the servers through a maintenance cycle.  So this has its appeal.

How to start using Ksplice in 5 easy steps

1. Go purchase some level of premier support for your Oracle Linux

2. Go to your portal and change your subscribed channels for servers which you want to run Ksplice on (add Oracle Ksplice in addition to your existing channel(s))

step one

3. yum install uptrack

yum install

4. uptrack-upgrade


Here’s the different kernels:

diff kernels

And the uptrack-show command:


If I had to dislike one thing?

The support experience.  The document here is completely outdated and wrong.  There is no button on to enable systems anymore, despite their documentation.  So I emailed my sales person, who handed me off to a technician, who referred me back to the incorrect document.  Then I opened an SR, and the technician there told me to email  Kind of a weird answer for Oracle Support, but whatever.  They at least knew what they were doing:

Hello Kevin,
We’ve streamlined the process. All you need to do is subscribe to the corresponding Ksplice channel (Ksplice for Oracle Linux 5 or 6, 32 or 64-bit), and install the uptrack package.
If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask us at

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