Canonical has announced its ‘Livepatch Service’ which any user can enable on their current installations to eliminate the need for rebooting their machine after installing an update for the Linux kernel. With the release of Linux 4.0, users have been able to update their kernel packages without rebooting, however, Ubuntu will be the first distribution to offer this feature for free.
Tom Callway from Canonical wrote:
“We are delighted to announce the availability of a new service for Ubuntu which any user can enable on their current installations – the Canonical Livepatch Service. This new live kernel patching service can be used on any Ubuntu 16.04 LTS system (using the generic Linux 4.4 kernel) to minimise unplanned downtime and maintain the highest levels of security.”
The Canonical Livepatch Service is available for free to all users on up to three machines, after that, you must purchase one of the Ubuntu Advantage support packages, which are geared towards businesses. Most casual users won’t benefit that much from the Livepatch Service because typically the computer will be shut down or rebooted at some point and will boot with the updated kernel. The Livepatch Service is geared more towards server users who need to keep systems running for as much of the day as possible.
To enable the Livepatch Service, firstly head over to the Canonical Livepatch Service portal, login with your Ubuntu account, and retrieve your Livepatch token. Next, you must install and enable the Livepatch Snap package:
sudo snap install canonical-livepatch
sudo canonical-livepatch enable [Token]
That’s it. With Livepatch enabled, you’ll no longer need to reboot your system after installing a kernel patch.