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How do I apply package updates from the Red Hat Network?

Updated 2014-03-04T10:41:24+00:00

Environment considerations

Prerequisite: registration

Systems must be registered before updates from RHN can be applied. This can be done via System -> Administration -> Software Update and in earlier versions via Applications -> System Tools -> Software Updater. It can also be accessed via the command line by using the "rhn_register" command. Registration requires local root access and a valid RHN login that has an unused Update or Management entitlement for the new system you want to register.

How to apply package updates

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and later

Before installing an update, make sure all previously released errata relevant to the system have been applied.

To access updates when using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, launch the graphical update tool through Applications -> System Tools -> Software Updater, or from the command line via the following command:

# pup

To access updates when using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, launch the graphical update tool through System -> Administration -> Software Update, or from the command line via the following command:

# gpk-update-viewer 

For a command line interface, use the following command to update the operating system:

# yum update

To install a specific package, such as vsftpd, use the following command:

# yum install vsftpd

To update a specific package, such as bind, use the following command:

# yum update bind

To find more information about the command line options available for yum, use the following command:

# man yum

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and earlier

To access updates from RHN when using Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1, 3, and 4, launch the interactive Red Hat Update Agent with the following command:

# up2date

For a command line interface, use up2date-nox. To update non-interactively, use the following command:

# up2date-nox --update

To install a specific package, such as vnc, use the following command:

# up2date vnc

To update a specific package, such as ntp, use the following command:

# up2date -u ntp

To find more information about the command line options available for up2date, use the following command:

# man up2date

Manually selecting updates from the Red Hat Network

It may be necessary to apply only certain updates, for instance, those advisories that are tagged as fixing security issues (RHSA) or bug fixes (RHBA).

To manually select updates:

  1. Log into Red Hat Customer Portal.
  2. On the Subscriptions -> Classic Management -> Registered Systems page, select which system you want to update.
  3. Click the Software tab.
  4. Click the Errata tab.
  5. Select the errata you want to apply.
  6. Click "Apply Errata" at the bottom right of the page.
  7. On the actual system you want to apply these updates to, run the following command (or place it in a cron job):

    # rhn_check
    

This will apply the selected errata from step 5 to the system you selected in step 2.