Question

Do you update kernels sometimes?

Posted September 24, 2012 20.7k views
Hello, the question is in the title. I'm asking this because in past (this summer), I had a VPS, based on openvz technology, and the kernel was terribly old (2.6.18) and I had Ubuntu 11.10 but I was unable to upgrade to 12.04 LTS directly because of the kernel. (I was able to bypass this by doing a "apt-add-repository ppa:izx/ovz-libc" but i searched a couple of hours). I decided to quit because mysql server 5.5 never wanted to install (even with 512 ram, so probably because of the old kernel), and your VPS, even with 256 mb, installs it without problem. Also, is there a kernel by OS or the server runs its own kernel and VPS inherits it (like openvz)?

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28 answers
I saw that you use KVM, but which linux system do you run on your hypervisors?

Thanks
We use Ubuntu on the hypervisors and the kernel is run through the hypervisor.

We are in the process of building and testing where we allow customers to run their own hypervisors.

Unlike OpenVZ we are very up to date on the kernels because it increases stability and performance. With OpenVZ its more paravirtualization and totally different from KVM or Xen and how it's often sold is through over provisioning which increases the likelihood of problem as well.
Okay thanks. I saw that my vps runs 3.2.0-24 virtual. It runs on ubuntu 12.04 and when i did a dist-upgrade, i quicly saw 3.2.0-31 virtual. I saw myself "the vps lets me to install a custom kernel? interesting" So I loaded it, it installed without trouble, I updated grub to boot on 31, but 24 loads always anyway, even if 31 is set as default, but if you say that the kernel is run through your hypervisor, thats ok, and thats why the kernel will always be the one which is run on the server. Thanks
We'll be making updates for this in the future but it is currently a small subset of power users that are upgrading systems and running their own kernels.

As that number grows we'll prioritize that higher up the queue, right now we are working on a few other elements that will benefit all users of DigitalOcean.

But you can always up-vote the features that you are most interested in by logging into the Control Panel and clicking on the "Feedback" icon.

Thanks
Build iPXE with DOWNLOAD_PROTO_HTTPS defined. You can then use dnsmasq or the like on a private interface to allow the user to boot anything.

Having a "virtual machine" implies exactly that--a machine. Your service is stellar overall. Please don't continue to cripple it by not providing this critical feature.
That's an interesting suggestion we'll have to look into that.

It is on our roadmap to give more power to the users but while we are still building things out it makes it easier for us to troubleshoot issues when we provide a few less choices or things that can be configured.

But it is on the roadmap, so it's just a question of when, not if and a lot of that depends on what customers rate as the priority using the feedback voting system because we listen to that as closely as we can to guide our development.
I did exactly what the OP did... and I'm still seeing 3.2.0.24 even if I dist-upgrade(d) to last 3.2.0.40 and edited /boot/grub/menu.lst accordingly. No change after six months?

So, if I understand it correctly, these droplets are sold like KVM but behave like OpenVPS: I have no control over the kernel. This is quite a limitation !! I created the droplet with the default kernel but I thought, "no problem, even if it's quite old, I can upgrade it whenever I deem it feasible". But now I'm stuck to... to what? I mean, if you've not updated images for NEW droplets in six months, I must change how I intended to use digitalocean, from "let's see if I can bend this at will and use it in production" to "ok, if I continue using it, remember it must be only for testing".
I agree: I just discovered this, and as a new customer, I'm pretty disappointed.
This is a big deal. For example, there is a local root exploit that became public recently, and affects a HUGE number of kernels - including CentOS 6.4 (http://web.nvd.nist.gov/view/vuln/detail?vulnId=CVE-2013-2094). Yet, I can't upgrade my kernel without talking to you?

So if someone finds any flaw in anything running on my droplet, and/or manages to get user-level access - they can immediately get root until the kernel is upgraded. That's really not good.



You can update the kernel on your droplet from the Settings tab so you're always up to date on security patches.
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