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How Can I Determine Whether My DirectAdmin Server Requires a Reboot?

Category: DirectAdmin
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Your typical notion is that servers don’t usually need to reboot and this is true for the most part. Production environment servers are designed to require seldom reboots, however, a reboot may be necessary every now and then for things such as package updates to protect against recent vulnerabilities. We’ll cover how you can determine whether or not this is necessary within your DirectAdmin VPS or Dedicated Server.

What to use?

To determine whether you need to reboot the server, or reboot certain services running on the server, use the //needs-restarting// command from the RHEL6/RHEL7 yum-utils package (Yum Package Manager utilities).

Looking at the code, the following require a DirectAdmin server reboot upon being updated:

  • kernel
  • kernel-rt
  • glibc
  • linux-firmware
  • systemd
  • udev
  • openssl-libs
  • gnutls
  • dbus

This is based on the list provided here:

 https://access.redhat.com/solutions/27943

This needs-restarting the utility works by examining running processes and comparing their /proc/<PID> directory timestamps with installation times. It does this to determine whether or not the running process is running an outdated binary and needs to be restarted. It will then print the affected services so that you may issue restarts for these services, or a server reboot if necessary.

Usage

You should log into your DirectAdmin server as the root user via SSH to run this command (remember that KnownHost sets the port to a non-default value or 2200 on our VPS, Cloud, and Dedicated servers to help alleviate SSHd bruteforcing).

If you only want to know whether or not the server requires a reboot, run the following command:

  needs-restarting -r

The output will include the list of core services or libraries that have been updated and a message explicitly stating whether or not a reboot is required. The results of this command with the -r modifier can also be used programmatically as its return status is a 1 if a reboot is required and a 0 if not.

DirectAdmin needs restarting command

If you want to see all services that need to be restarted (in the case that the previous command indicates that you do not require a full reboot on a busy production server), you can issue the command without any flags.

DirectAdmin restart

Refer to the man page for additional information, or use the -h flag to read the command’s help output.

Issuing a Reboot

If the needs-restarting utility command came back with services that need restarting, you’ll most likely want to issue a reboot to restart the server.

VPS reboots take relatively less than a minute for them to come back online.

Dedicated Servers can take anywhere from 5-7 minutes, depending on the server.

To issue a reboot, run the following command:

  reboot now

If you require any assistance with running these commands, please open a support ticket with your KnownHost support team. We’re available 24/7 and happy to help!

Conclusion

Checking your server periodically to determine if a reboot is necessary helps ensure that your system is running the latest available software packages for your system services. This keeps your server protected against any patched exploits while maintaining the stability that the update brought.

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