The wrong way to upgrade your RPMs

    Date06 Jan 2004
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Keeping your machine up to date requires that you update your software. If your distro uses RPM packages, be sure you aren't accidentally installing new software when you upgrade. . . . Most Linux distributions use the RPM[1] format for their software packages. RPMs are managed by the rpm program, which typically lives at /usr/bin/rpm.[2]

    The problem with any system is that your software is out of date the second you install it, and when security problems are found, you need to upgrade your software. Linux is great in that you don't need to reboot, you can upgrade your software on the fly.[3]

    Most Linux distributions maintain a web or FTP site that provides updated RPMs for security or other critical bugs. Some even include handy helpful programs to make it easier to identify older software and automatically upgrade to the newest available version, for example Red Hat's up2date. Some of these are subscription based (hey, creating good tools and providing the bandwidth costs money) so often people prefer to simply upgrade their RPMs directly.

    It's fairly trivial to mirror the updates section of your distro's website. For example I used to use the following to snag all the Red Hat 6.2 upgrade RPMs:

    $ wget -m --no-parent

    The above command would download all the x86 updates. Run it nightly from cron, and you've always got a repository of updated packages. Now that you have them, it's time to upgrade.

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