Q

Using YUM to upgrade a system around the kernel

Excluding the Linux kernel in a YUM upgrade can be done. Learn how from our expert, who also tells you why it might not be the best idea.

I am running Fedora Core 6 with the 2.6.22.9-61 kernel. I added the truecrypt module to my system, but every time the kernel gets upgraded, the module is lost. Can I use YUM (Yellow dog Updater, Modified) to upgrade an entire system with the exception of the kernel? Is there any danger to not updating the kernel?

You can exclude software from YUM upgrade in two ways, via the command line and via configuration file. Firstly, via command line use the --exclude option like so:


# yum --exclude kernel

You can also use the exclude option in the yum.conf configuration file, usually located in /etc. Add each package you want excluded to the option in the [main] section.


[main] exclude=hal autofs kernel*

The danger of not updating the kernel is two-fold. You risk missing out on functionality, security updates or both. If there are kernel features or fixes in the version you are excluding, then you can miss out on them. Additionally, if there are security fixes in the new kernel, you will also not get those. I recommend reviewing the release notes for each kernel version and determine if any of the features, fixes or security updates applies to you. If so, then you should choose to upgrade your kernel, which would mean that you will have to reinstall your module.

This was first published in October 2007

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