Linux patch management software

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, patch management in Linux 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.

The benefits of patching Linux machines 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.

Supported Linux versions.

Patch Manager Plus supports Linux security patches and non-security updates (only for Red Hat, CentOS and Ubuntu machines) with bulletin IDs for computers running the following versions of Linux:

    1. Red Hat
    2. SUSE Linux
    3. Ubuntu
    4. Debian
    5. CentOS
    6. Pardus
    7. Oracle Linux

Linux versions Redhat 8 and CentOS 8 are now supported on Patch Manager Plus and Endpoint Central

Linux patch management strategies

While Linux being open-source has its advantages, it can be quite complex to devise a proper Linux patching strategy for that very same reason. Owing to the abundance of Linux distros, it is almost impossible to create a unified patch management strategy for all of them and generally requires more knowledge, unlike Windows.

Let's take a look at the list of Linux patch management strategies that you can implement using Patch Manager Plus to ensure patch compliance in your network.

  • Automate Linux patching in your network
  • Manually checking for updates regularly, testing them, and installing them on your endpoints is undoubtedly a rigorous task. The easiest workaround? Automating the entire patching process in your environment.
    With automated patch management software, you can ensure regular patching across your endpoints, thereby keeping vulnerabilities and exploits at bay.

  • Test and approve patches before deploying to production machines
  • In the event of a patch causing operational or functionality issues in the production endpoints, rolling it back can be a serious headache for admins. Moreover, such events can cause system downtime as well as a drop in productivity.

    As a result, always test your patches in a pilot group of endpoints (also known as a test group). Once approved, these patches can be deployed in phases to the production network.

  • Prioritize deploying critical patches first
  • Vulnerabilities marked as critical should be patched as soon as possible since these are more likely to be exploited by threat actors and cyberattackers. This is why it's important to always prioritize deploying critical or important patches first. Less severe patches, optional updates, etc. can then be deployed based on regular deployment schedules.

  • Generate detailed patch summary reports
  • Generating detailed reports is crucial for security auditing purposes and tracking network-wide patch compliance. Regularly generate reports that specify patching dates, version info, deployment results, and other details.

    As a thumb rule, always look for Linux patch management tools with a central dashboard that features reports on:

    • Successful and failed deployments
    • The network health status
    • Patch compliance
    This makes it easy for admins to act quickly on failed deployments and implement manual mitigation strategies.

Learn the best practices for patch management in detail and make the most of Linux patching for your enterprise.


Download the e-book

How to patch your Linux systems manually?

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

  • For Debian-based Linux operating systems (Debian Patching, Ubuntu Patching, Linux Mint, 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 (RedHat Patching, 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.

How to patch Linux machines automatically?

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.

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 the right Linux patch management software in hand, you can deploy Linux security patches and non-security updates (only for Red Hat, CentOS and Ubuntu machines) that help keep your Linux endpoints secure, error-free, and updated with the latest features.

Patch Manager Plus provides a module for patch management in Linux that helps admins ensure that all the Linux machines on the network are up to date with critical Linux security patches and non-security updates (only for Red Hat, CentOS and Ubuntu machines), 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.

Note: For patching Red Hat and SUSE, it is recommended that all the managed endpoints have valid system licenses.

See the full list of Linux applications supported by Patch Manager Plus.


What is Linux patching?

Linux patching(or patching in Linux) is the process of applying patches (or software codes) to fix vulnerabilities or to add new features to the Linux endpoints across your network.

Why is patch management in Linux important?

Patching your Linux systems is crucial to prevent threat actors from exploiting vulnerabilities in them. It strengthens data security and fends off recurring attacks. Some patches also add new features and functions to the applications.

Why is ManageEngine Patch Manager Plus the best Linux patching software?

ManageEngine Patch Manager Plus supports patching for over 850 third-party applications across Windows, Mac, and Linux endpoints, offering all-around protection. With detailed, customizable reports, admins can get comprehensive visibility of the patch compliance in their network. Explore the features of Patch Manager Plus from here.

How do I download Patch Manager Plus for free?

You can download Patch Manager Plus for free by visiting, selecting the 32-bit or 64-bit version, and clicking Download.