[SunHELP] A discussion about patch policy

velociraptor velociraptor at gmail.com
Tue Jun 14 11:20:34 CDT 2005

On 6/14/05, Grindell, Joan M. <GrindellJ at sec.gov> wrote:
>         Sun recommends that cluster patches be installed in single user
> mode.  Some folks here prefer to install the patches remotely and reboot
> remotely.  What policies do other admins take and why?  What are the
> if any of installing remotely?

I've only installed in single user mode when updating immediately
after a system install (e.g. before the system is put into use).

Generally, I just make sure I'm installing patches at a time that
there are few users active--e.g. after hours or on the weekend.
But that's more so as not to interfere with the users than an issue
with the OS.


The reason for the warnings are more a CYA on Sun's part.

If the patches replace the binaries for an active running process,
and for some reason those binaries had to be re-read off the disks
after being replaced, then the patching has the potential to do
"bad things" to the system--e.g. system panic, corrupt data (were
it to be software that had open data files), etc.

In practice, I've never seen this happen.  Patching when the system
is quiet is a half-way measure.  On a db server or similar, I'd likely
go so far as to shut down the app if there was potential to write to
the db during the patch application process.


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