4.9. Downloading and Installing Red Hat Updates

Red Hat has produced some pretty impressive versions of their distribution so far, but seems to have a history of releasing them when they are not quite "ready for prime time". Therefore in order to take full advantage of your Linux system, it is necessary to download and apply updated packages. These packages, also called "rpm files" are applied using the RPM utility (for details on this utility, see Section 10.1).

This will prove to be one of the more time-consuming parts of getting your Linux system ready (unless you have a stellarly fast Internet connection). However, take the time to do this! You will likely save yourself a lot of grief!

First, download all files from:


(The above assumes you are using Linux on an Intel box).

You should probably download everything into a single directory, and then you can simply type: ``rpm -Uvh *'' which will upgrade all the packages. If you've downloaded any kernel rpm files, you should probably move them to another directory for now. Upgrading or customizing your kernel is a bit more complicated and needs to be done with great care (see Section 10.4 for details on this). Therefore before you apply the upgrades, you may wish to consider moving all the kernel-*.rpm files out of your temporary upgrade directory.

To apply the upgrades, you can simply run ``rpm'' against all the packages at once (ie. "rpm -Uvh *"), or if you prefer, you can upgrade them one at a time (ie. "rpm -Uvh file_to_upgrade.rpm"). The latter method is for us anal types who wish to ensure that each update is applied correctly without error. :-)

Perhaps you are curious to see if a given package is installed before you attempt to upgrade it. Or perhaps you wish to find out what version of a given package is installed. All this can be done with the RPM utility; see Section 10.1 for details.