Elivepatch Progressing For Live Kernel Patching On Gentoo, Rolling To Other Distros
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 22 November 2018 at 07:43 AM EST. 1 Comment
OPERATING SYSTEMS --
Elivepatch is a distributed live kernel patching mechanism developed by the Gentoo crowd during GSoC 2017 and has continued to be developed. While it is still centered around Gentoo, there are ambitions to bring this open-source live kernel patching tech to other distributions.

Alice Ferrazzi as the Gentoo Kernel Project Leader has been central to the development of Elivepatch going back to its start almost two years ago and she presented on it last week at Linux Plumbers Conference 2018. Elivepatch builds upon the live-patching code in the mainline kernel but was motivated due to the different vendor solutions being quite limited. For example, Oracle with Ksplice only works with Oracle Linux kernels, some of the vendor solutions being closed-source, requiring other custom kernel bits, or lack long-term support.

Elivepatch meanwhile is fully open-source, supports custom kernel configurations, and leverages request-driven customizations. Elivepatch was developed in close collaboration with Red Hat's Kpatch maintainers. Some of the future work being pursued by Elivepatch includes automating more of the process, multi-distribution support, signing support for live patches, kernel CI/CD checking, and an Elivepatch Gentoo overlay. Current distribution targets for Elivepatch beyond Gentoo are Fedora, Debian, and even Android.

For those wishing to learn more about Elivepatch, Alice Ferrazzi's LPC2018 presentation can be viewed here. More background information on it can be found via the Gentoo Wiki and the client code is available from the Gentoo GitHub.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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