Configuring Update Agent

As shipped, Update Agent will not automatically connect, download and install updated packages. Before proceeding, you'll have to supply information about yourself, such as the user name and password which you selected when you registered Red Hat Linux 6.2. (To learn more about registration benefits, go to

Figure 5-2. Main Update Agent Window

To configure the application, select Configure on the main dialog. (The button labeled Abort is only active during a download or installation process; selecting this button causes Update Agent to cease its current work.)

The Configuration dialog presents you with three tabbed windows in which you must enter information:

Let's begin with the User tab. When you're finished, your information should appear somewhat like Figure 5-3.

Figure 5-3. User Configuration Tab

The User dialog is separated into two sections: User Information and E-Mail Addresses.

In the User Information section, enter the user name you specified when you registered in the box marked User ID. In the box for Password, enter the password you chose when you registered.

In the E-Mail Addresses section, you should specify the e-mail address to which feedback and summaries from Update Agent should be sent for review. You can have the feedback and summaries sent to numerous accounts, such as your user account. Just enter the addresses in the Add new box, then click on the Add button. The entry will appear in the address window.

Now it's time to specify your options in the Retrieval tab.

The Retrieval tab is divided into three sections, which detail the location of the priority updates server, specific download and installation instructions, and the location of the directory where updates are stored on your system. (See Figure 5-4 for an example.)

Figure 5-4. Retrieval Configuration Tab

In the Server entry, you should enter as the priority updates server, if it isn't already present. The entry for Program is unavailable for you to specify; it simply indicates the location of the CGI script which executes Update Agent.


You can still use Update Agent if your registration expires to Just point the application to

Similar to options you might find in Gnome-RPM, the selections which follow the server information allow you to customize how you want to retrieve and install updates. Selecting a button chooses that option. Your options are:

Beneath the package options, two additional boxes allow you to specify the version of Red Hat Linux files you want to update, and the location where those upgrade files will be kept.

The drop-down menu for Override version will show you a current or previous versions of Red Hat Linux. Most users will probably retain the default entry, which is Red Hat Linux 6.2. If no value is specified here, the proper value will automatically be determined.

The default entry for Package storage directory is set to /var/spool/up2date as the default, although you can specify a more preferable location. For example, if you've chosen to download packages without automatically installing them, you may find that these downloads take up quite a bit of space over time. Specifying a directory on your filesystem allows you to send these packages to a directory which you know can accommodate their size.

The Exceptions tab allows you to specify packages or individual files which you don't want retrieved from and offered as an update. (See Figure 5-5 for an example of this tab.)

Figure 5-5. Update Exceptions Tab

In this tab, you have the opportunity to specify which files and packages you would prefer not to be updated or modified. Both entries -- Skip Packages and Skip Files -- allow you to use wildcards, such as an asterisk (*) and a question mark (?).

The default entry in the Skip Packages section lists kernel*, meaning that any packages which begin with kernel are excluded from download and installation. Most users will likely want to keep this exclusion.

To add new entries, type the name of the package you do not want selected (for example exmh* for the e-mail application exmh), then click on the Add button. Your entry will be added to the list.

Like the Skip Packages option, the Skip Files section allows you to specify individual files you do not want selected. For example, if you want to exclude all the files in /home, you would enter /home/* and the accounts in /home will be excluded from updates.