Updating perfSONAR

Just like any other host on your network, it is critical to stay up-to-date with the latest packages on your perfSONAR Toolkit. You will want to make sure you have the latest security fixes as well as the ability to take advantage of the great new features constantly being added to the tools. In general you will keep your host up-to-date with the operating system’s package manager (e.g. yum or apt), but in some special cases things may be more involved. Be sure to watch release notes and this page when such cases arise.

Manually Updating with Yum or APT

Anytime you want to manually update your host, simply run the following


yum update


apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

The yum package manager is used by RedHat-based operating systems like CentOS to update packages, apt is used by Debian-based OS. Running the command above will download the latest perfSONAR packages as well as any operating system packages available.

Automatic Updates


Automatic updates are enabled by default in the perfSONAR Toolkit.

You may choose to enable automatic updates to aid in applying the latest software packages to your system. Automatic updates include all perfSONAR, operating system and third-party packages. Enabling this feature will help keep the latest security fixes on the system, but keep in mind it is possible some updates may break your host unexpectedly. The following rule of thumb from Fedora may be useful when considering whether to enable this feature:

If the machine is a critical server, for which unplanned downtime of a service on the machine can not be tolerated, then you should not use automatic updates. Otherwise, you may choose to use them.

It is also important to note that automatic updates do not perform all required system reboots or service restarts. Also, auto-updates happen nightly so there may be a period of up to 24 hours where you do not receive a patch. Enabling this feature still requires close monitoring of the host to make sure all updates are applied completely and properly.

Managing Automatic Updates from the Command-Line

You can manage auto updates from the command-line by enabling/disabling the yum-cron service on CentOS and configuring the unattended-upgrades option of APT on Debian and Ubuntu.

Run the following commands to enable automatic updates (must be run as a root user):

CentOS 6:

chkconfig yum-cron on
service yum-cron start

CentOS 7:

systemctl enable yum-cron
systemctl start yum-cron


apt-get install unattended-upgrades
/usr/lib/perfsonar/scripts/system_environment/enable_auto_updates new

Likewise, you may disable auto-updates from the command-line by running the following:

CentOS 6:

chkconfig yum-cron off
service yum-cron stop

CentOS 7:

systemctl stop yum-cron
systemctl disable yum-cron


apt-get purge unattended-upgrades
rm -f /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/60unattended-upgrades-perfsonar


These commands will automatically update all packages on the system. Also note that the main configuration file for auto-updates lives at /etc/yum. See the yum-cron man page or the page here for more information on using auto-updates and advanced options like excluding packages from update. Also see Disabling Automatic Updates for perfSONAR Packages.


This configuration enables automatic updates for Debian security updates or Ubuntu security updates and perfSONAR packages.

Managing Automatic Updates from the Toolkit Web Interface

If you are running the perfSONAR Toolkit, you may enable/disable automatic updates for all packages (not just perfSONAR) on the system from the web interface as follows:

  1. Open your toolkit web interface in a browser.

  2. Click on Edit (A) in the host information section of the main page or Configuration (B) button in the right-upper corner and login as the web administrator user created during installation.


    See also

    See Managing Users for more details on creating a web administrator account.

  3. On the Host tab click the button under the Auto Updates heading to enable or disable auto-updates as indicated by the color and status text of the button.

  4. Click Save to apply your changes. After a loading screen you should see a green message at the bottom indicating your changes have been saved.

Disabling Automatic Updates for perfSONAR Packages

The commands in the previous sections control updates for the entire system. If you want to leave automatic updates on for base system packages, but would like to just disable the perfSONAR updates you can do so by following the steps in the previous sections and editing the file /etc/yum.repos.d/perfSONAR.repo with the option enabled set to 0.


If you are running against one of our testing repositories you may also need to update the files /etc/yum.repos.d/perfSONAR-staging.repo and /etc/yum.repos.d/perfSONAR-nightly.repo.

To disable the automatic updating of perfSONAR packages on Debian/Ubuntu delete the line with origin=perfSONAR pattern from /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/60unattended-upgrades-perfsonar. After that only the Debian security updates will be installed automatically.

Special Upgrade Notes

  • perfSONAR 4.0 can run on both CentOS 6 and CentOS 7 (and Ubuntu). If you wish to migrate an existing CentOS 6 host to CentOS 7 see the instructions at Migrating from CentOS 6 to CentOS 7.