major.io words of wisdom from a systems engineer

Get notifications instead of automatic updates in Scientific Linux

Scientific Linux installations have a package called yum-autoupdate by default and the package contains two files:

# rpm -ql yum-autoupdate
/etc/cron.daily/yum-autoupdate
/etc/sysconfig/yum-autoupdate

The cron job contains the entire script to run automatic updates once a day and the configuration file controls its behavior. However, you can’t get the same functionality as Fedora’s yum-updatesd package where you can receive notifications for updates rather than automatically updating the packages.

To get those notifications in Scientific Linux, just make two small edits to this portion of /etc/cron.daily/yum-autoupdate:

173           echo "    Starting Yum with command"
174           echo "     /usr/bin/yum -c $TEMPCONFIGFILE -e 0 -d 1 -y update"
175   fi
176   /usr/bin/yum -c $TEMPCONFIGFILE -e 0 -d 1 -y update > $TEMPFILE 2>&1
177   if [ -s $TEMPFILE ] ; then

Adjust the update commands to look like this:

173           echo "    Starting Yum with command"
174           echo "     /usr/bin/yum -c $TEMPCONFIGFILE -e 0 -d 1 -y check-update"
175   fi
176   /usr/bin/yum -c $TEMPCONFIGFILE -e 0 -d 1 -y check-update > $TEMPFILE 2>&1
177   if [ -s $TEMPFILE ] ; then

Since you won’t be auto-updating with this script any longer, you may want to comment out the EXCLUDE= line in /etc/sysconfig/yum-autoupdate so that you’ll receive notifications for all packages with updates. Also, to avoid having your changes updated with a newer yum-autoupdate package later, add the package to your list of excluded packages in /etc/yum.conf.