Q&A Monday: How often should I update my Linux Servers?


I have recently become responsible for more servers at my current job, some of these servers are of the  RedHat and Debian flavor of linux, and I was wondering what is the recommended period of time between checking for updates on these servers?

Catina P. Martin
Mira Loma, CA



To be honest, it all depends on how comfortable you are with the servers and how critical they are to your organization.  In a multi-server Linux environment if you have servers that are less critical, updates those first and then move onto the more critical servers.  As for how often, I wouldn’t push past a month between updates (then you can do them with your Windows Boxes).  If the staggering amount of updates on the boxes make you nervous, then move to twice a month, and if even that’s unmanageable for you, then move to weekly. Weekly will give you less updates, and less to comb through if a particular update gives you problems.  Plus the sooner you get patches and apply them, the more secure your server could be.


If you have any questions that you want Jim to answer, from business servers to home computers, drop him a line at me@jimguckin.com, and he’ll try to answer your question. Check back every Monday for a new Question and Answer session, and during the rest of the week for his other technical insights.

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