Keeping Your System Up-to-date
Why should you set aside a few minutes each week to keep your system up-to-date? The primary reason is that an up-to-date system is more secure than a system with old software. If your system is compromised, it may be used to compromise other systems on campus, so keeping your system up-to-date is part of being a good network citizen. The speed with which problems are found and fixed in Linux is really fast. Red Hat has taken most of the pain out of the process of keeping your system up-to-date. First, you register with the Red Hat Network (RHN) and set up a hardware and software profile for your machine. Then to keep your system up-to-date, all you have to do is to start the "Update Agent" using the desktop menus or issue the command up2date at the commandline.
Red Hat Network Services
Here are the services provide by the RHN. Below, we assume that you are going to use the Free Basic Service. Note that at times of high RHN load, priority is given to the paying customers. If a new kernel update comes out, you may have to start your update when you go to bed.
Free refers to our complimentary Basic Service. All users receive one complimentary subscription for registering with Red Hat Network. This also refers to Trial subscriptions, such as those you might activate with the purchase of a Red Hat boxed product.
Basic refers to Basic Service subscriptions that are purchased directly from Red Hat Network. These subscriptions are $60 per system, and renew annually.
Workgroup refers to Workgroup Service subscriptions that are purchased directly from Red Hat Network. These subscriptions are $240 per system, and renew annually.
Registering your machine with the Red Hat Network (RHN)
There is no charge to become a registered user of RHN and register a system profile. You can even register profiles for multiple machines, but you can only update one profile automatically.
To get started, login to the machine that you want to automatically update, and start "Red Hat Network" using the desktop menus or by issuing the command rhn_register at the commandline. You will be asked to create a username, password, and system name, and give your e-mail address. Next, your hardware and your package installation will be scanned and transmitted to RHN.
Next, login to the RHN at www.redhat.com/network and look around. Your RHN account lets you review user preferences and your system profile. Click on Systems -> System List. In the "Entitlement" column, you should see "Basic." If you see "None", click on the System Name, and then set the Entitlement to Basic. You can only do this for free for one system.
Updating your system
To keep your system up-to-date, all you have to do is to start the "Update Agent" using the desktop menus or issue the command up2date at the commandline. This process also does kernel updates. If you do a kernel update and you are using the Windows 2000 loader, you will need to do the following steps as root.