Keeping your Linux server up to date

This tutorial will show you various methods for keeping your Linux server up to date

One of the most important tasks a system administrator should undertake is keeping the server up to date. Updates are frequently released for Linux, including security, performance a feature updates.

Luckily, most Linux distributions include an easy to use package manager which allows you to update your server with one command. This tutorial will show you how to update your server over SSH.

Firstly connect to your server via SSH and login as root/elevate yourself to root status. Now run the following command:

yum -y update

This instructs yum, the package manager for CentOS, to search for updates and install them without user confirmation. You can optionally remove the -y switch to make yum prompt you to confirm installation of updates. yum will then download and install all available updates.

Congratulations, you just updated your server! One thing to keep in mind is that kernel updates require a reboot to take effect. An example of what a kernel package looks like:


To see what your current kernel version is, run the following command:

uname -a

The version number will differ depending on what version is being installed.

Keeping your Linux server up to date is important to ensure that it remains secure and stable. Here are some steps you can take to keep your Linux server up to date:

1. Install updates regularly: Make sure to regularly install updates for your operating system and applications. This can be done through the package manager on your Linux distribution. Running the command “sudo apt update” followed by “sudo apt upgrade” on Ubuntu and Debian-based distributions will update your system to the latest versions of all packages.

2. Enable automatic updates: Most Linux distributions have a way to enable automatic updates. This is a good option if you want to ensure that your server is always up to date without having to manually check for updates.

3. Monitor security advisories: Stay informed about any security vulnerabilities that may affect your server. This can be done by subscribing to security mailing lists or monitoring security advisories from your Linux distribution or software vendors.

4. Keep backups: Always keep backups of your server’s data in case something goes wrong during an update. This is important as updates can occasionally cause problems or conflicts with other software.

5. Test updates in a development environment: If you have a separate development environment, test updates there before installing them on your production server. This can help you identify any potential issues before they affect your live server.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your Linux server remains up to date and secure.

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