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Old 06-04-2018, 11:52 AM   #1
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Post RHEL 6.4 patching and Perl modules

Afternoon all,

and hello to everyone... first post so apols if this question is a bit flaky, Linux isn't my area,

We have an RHEL 6.4 server, it's running a custom application written in Perl consisting of many hundreds of modules residing in /usr.
Our support vendor is asking for a patching exception and is advising it cannot be patched due to each time /usr is updated the modules are removed; then they have to restore the modules from a backup...

Being in infosec not patching isn't something I easily accept.

Is this expected behaviour on this this flavour of Linux?

Does surprises me this would happen though.

many thanks

Last edited by Snookiwooki; 06-04-2018 at 12:14 PM.
Old 06-04-2018, 12:35 PM   #2
John VV
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a few things first

is this 6.4 ? or the current 6.9 Legacy hardware support OS ?

for 6.4 you WILL need redhat's help

open a ticket with redhat

to check please post the output of this
OUR help and instructions WILL depend on this !!!

cat /etc/redhat-release

Last edited by John VV; 06-04-2018 at 12:37 PM.
Old 06-04-2018, 12:49 PM   #3
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The nature of RHEL is that the major version of the distro (e.g. RHEL5, RHEL6, RHEL7) gets built using certain version of upstream packages (e.g. perl-5.10.1 - you can see this by running "rpm -q perl").

RedHat does its own customization to make all the packages they use work together and put their own extended versioning on the package. (e.g. on one RHEL 6.5 system I currently have perl-5.10.1-136.el6.x86_64 but there is a later extended version perl.x86_64 4:5.10.1-144.el6 shown by "yum list perl). Note that both show base version as perl-5.10.1 but what follows that is different. The extended versioning may include backports of security fixes and some enhancements in the base from later upstream base version.

perl Is a modularized programming languange as you know. RedHat provides many perl modules in their repositories. If you run "rpm -qa |grep perl" you'll see all the ones you have installed. However, many modules are NOT provided directly by RedHat. You can get other modules using Perl's own CPAN facility. You can find more information on that at:

You could put newer modules in locations not automatically overwritten by rpm/yum installations. You'd have to insure your includes in the perl scripts you use know the alternate paths to include.

To reiterate:
There ARE security updates in RHEL provided packages but you have to look at the errata for those packages to be sure you have the latest. Many security scanning tools base their pass/fail on the base version of upstream and don't look at all at the RHEL extended versioning. If a scanning tool tells you you're at risk look to see what specifically (i.e. which CVE) it complains about then look at RedHat's site to see if that CVE is addressed in their extended version (which it often is).

Note that RHEL6 is nearing end of life so there is a point at which they'll quit providing security fixes for it. If at all possible you should look at moving on to RHEL7.


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