Toward Practical Dynamic Software Updating

Iulian Neamtiu, Gareth Stoyle, Manuel Oriol, Michael Hicks

Research output: Working paper


Software systems are imperfect, so software updates are a fact of life. While typical software updates require stopping and restarting the program in question, many systems cannot afford to halt service, or would prefer not to. In this paper we argue that dynamic software updating (DSU), in which programs are updated while they run, provides superior flexibility when compared to standard alternatives. The challenge is in making DSU safe and easy to use; we argue that automated analyses are the key. We describe a prototype DSU implementation for C programs, and report our experience with some well-known open-source server programs (Apache, OpenSSH, vsftpd). For these programs, safe updates derived from standard releases were easy to generate, and performance was virtually unaffected by updateability
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Place of PublicationCollege Park
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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