What is patch management in Linux?

Linux patch management is the process of managing patches for applications running on Linux computers. Managing patches in Linux involves scanning your Linux endpoints to detect missing patches, downloading patches from vendors' sites, and deploying them to the respective client machines.

Enhancing your overall system performance, Linux patch management helps you maintain a secure and productive environment. ManageEngine's all-around patching solution, Patch Manager Plus, helps resolve compatibility issues and provides hardware support for all Linux users.

Linux patch management strategies.

You can patch your Linux machines manually or automatically via patch management software.

How to patch your systems manually.

You can deploy your patches in your Linux machines manually by following the steps below.

  • For Debian-based Linux operating systems (Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Pardus, etc.), run the following commands as "root" or using "sudo," in the given order:

    sudo apt-get update       # Fetches the list of available updates
    sudo apt-get upgrade       # Strictly upgrades the current packages
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade     # Installs updates (new ones)

  • For Red Hat-based Linux operating systems (Red Hat, CentOS, Oracle Linux, etc.), run the following commands as "root" or using "sudo," in the given order:

    yum check-update           # To check for the list of available updates
    yum update                      # Installs updates for all the packages

  • For Suse-based Linux operating systems (Suse Linux Enterprise, OpenSuse), run the following commands as "root" or using "sudo," in the given order:

    zypper check-update                       # To check for the list of available updates
    zypper update                                  # Installs updates for all the packages

However, manual deployment often results in errors. There are many steps involved, and it can be difficult to identify where a mistake was made. Due to the complexities involved, patch management is often rather time-consuming for users. Thankfully, Patch Manager Plus has come up with a solution for all these complications—complete automation using the Automate Patch Deployment (APD) feature.

Automated Linux patch management software.

After automation is applied, the entire patch management process becomes more efficient. This Linux patch management software automates the entire process. It scans for missing patches, downloads them, and tests them in a non-production environment; if the patches don't cause any issues, Patch Manager Plus approves them to be rolled out in the production environment and schedules reports.

To automate the patch management process, simply follow the steps below.

  • Schedule patch scan - Go to Patch Manager Plus and navigate to Systems > Scan Systems to scan for missing patches in your network.
  • Choose deployment policies - Based on the severity of the missing patches, you should prioritize missing patches with important or critical severity levels. You can patch your machines through manual deployment by creating a patch configuration, or you can automate patch deployment.
    You can approve patches first if you prefer to manually perform this task, allowing the Automate Patch Deployment feature to patch your machines in the next available deployment window.
  • Test and approve - For patches with low or moderate severity, you'll have time to test those patches in a non-production environment. If they don't cause any problems post-deployment, then they can be rolled out to the production environment.
  • View patch and system reports - In Patch Manager Plus, go to Reports > System Health Report to see how your systems are performing post-deployment. The predefined patch management reports show you the patch status of your systems, among other things, allowing you to quickly ascertain the security of your network.
    Note: We recommend you maintain a supported version of Linux, because many older versions are no longer supported by Linux.


Explore a fully-featured online demo of Patch Manager Plus today. This demo will give you insight into the different modules Patch Manager Plus has to offer.

Benefits of Linux patch management using Patch Manager Plus.

Patch Manager Plus' Linux patch management features help you:

  • Patch all the loopholes in your Linux endpoints, keeping your networks secured.
  • Save time and money. With the APD feature, the whole Linux patch management process is automated—from scanning for and deploying patches to generating patch status reports.
  • Centralize patch management for all Linux operating systems.
  • Practice bandwidth-efficient patching. Patches are only downloaded once for your whole network. Please note that these patches are re-distributed across your Intranet wherever it is required.
  • View comprehensive reports, including reports on the System Health Policy and patch level status, which can be drilled down further for a more detailed view.

Be sure to keep your Linux servers and all the machines in your Linux environment up to date, so you don't miss out on any of the new features provided by the manufacturer.

Patching Linux with Patch Manager Plus.

In the world of Linux, patches are more than just something you might apply to the source code of a kernel. With Linux patch management software in hand, you can deploy Linux patches that help keep your Linux endpoints secure, error-free, and updated with the latest features.

Patch Manager Plus provides a module for Linux patch management that helps admins ensure that all the Linux machines on the network are up to date with critical Linux patches, ensuring there are no security vulnerabilities in the network. With the help of this tool, you can patch your Linux endpoints and third-party updates for Linux. You can also choose to install patches based on severity. With Patch Manager Plus, patch management for Linux computers is no longer a challenging task.

Supported Linux versions.

Patch Manager Plus supports patch management for computers running the following versions of Linux:

  1. Red Hat
  2. SUSE Linux
  3. Ubuntu
  4. Debian
  5. CentOS
  6. See the full list of Linux applications supported by Patch Manager Plus.