Sunday 9 July 2017

CentOS / RHEL: Enabling automatic updates of critical security patches

While I certainty wouldn't recommend enabling automatic updates (even general security updates) on a production server I would however (in most cases) recommend enabling automatic updates for critical security patches.

We can do this with the yum-cron tool - which (as suggested) creates a cronjob to perform the updates:

sudo -y install yum-cron

We can then configure yum-cron - ensuring it only applies critical security updates:

vi /etc/yum/yum-cron.conf

and setup a mail host and destination - while ensuring that the update_cmd is set accordingly:

update_cmd minimal-security-severity:Critical

start the service:

sudo systemctl start yum-cron

and ensure it starts at boot:

sudo systemctl enable yum-cron

By default yum-cron runs on a daily basis - however this can easily be changed or the command integrated into your own cron job:

cat /etc/cron.daily/0yum-daily.cron


# Only run if this flag is set. The flag is created by the yum-cron init
# script when the service is started -- this allows one to use chkconfig and
# the standard "service stop|start" commands to enable or disable yum-cron.
if [[ ! -f /var/lock/subsys/yum-cron ]]; then
  exit 0

# Action!
exec /usr/sbin/yum-cron


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