Dr. Dobb's is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Channels ▼


Ksplice Software Update Project Wins $100K Competition

Ksplice, a system that makes it possible for you *not* to have to reboot a computer every time a new update is installed, took top honors in this year's MIT $100,000 Entrepreneurship Competition. Ksplice enables running systems to stay secure without the disruption of rebooting. Specifically, Ksplice creates rebootless updates that are based on traditional source code patches. These updates are as effective as traditional updates, but they can be applied seamlessly, with no downtime.

The Ksplice project had its roots nearly three years ago when Jeff Arnold was working on MIT's servers and had to deal with a security update that arrived midweek. He decided to delay installing it until the weekend to avoid downtime while the servers were in heavy use. Unfortunately, the delay resulted in a security breach that required reinstalling all the system software.

After the unfortunate experience, says Waseem Daher, co-founder and COO of Ksplice, Arnold worked on developing a solution to the problem, which became the basis for his master's degree thesis. While rebooting after every update is an annoyance for individual computer users, it can have a significant impact in lost time for those operating large server farms or for corporate or institutional IT departments, where hundreds or thousands of computers need to be updated at a time. "The need is ubiquitous," Daher said.

The Ksplice 0.9.7 utilities are available for Linux as an x86-32 binary distribution tarball, as an x86-64 binary distribution tarball, as a source code tarball, and in a Git repository.

Related Reading

More Insights

Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.