IBM BigFix Patch: Pre-Announcement: Supersedence Logic on CentOS Fixlets to be Updated on February 14, 2017

The BigFix Patch team continuously aims to provide enhancements to the patching content with improved usability, accuracy, and reliability of the available Fixlets.

The supersedence logic used on Fixlets for the CentOS 5, CentOS 6 and CentOS 7, which is based on Red Hat’s Errata information, is going to to be updated with a package-based supersedence logic implementation on February 14, 2017.

Why is the supersedence logic being changed?
The main reason for the change is to improve Fixlet accuracy by ensuring supersedence only on Fixlets that contain superseded packages. Additionally, changes are made in line with Red Hat’s interface shift from Red Hat Network (RHN) hosted to Red Hat Subscription Management (RHSM) that is happening in July 2017.

What is being changed in the supersedence logic?
The new supersedence logic works by inspecting the packages in a Fixlet. If the Fixlet conditions match the set criteria for supersedence, only then will it be marked as superseded.

This enhancement reduces the occurrence of false positives whereby the Fixlet supersedence logic is incorrectly processed. After the update, previously superseded Fixlets may show as relevant and vice versa.

How does the new supersedence logic impact you?
If you are using Fixlet applicability as a means to measure patching compliance, your compliance level may be affected when the enhancements are released on February 14, 2017.

However, the Fixlet supersedence and relevance results will be more accurate and would help reduce patching time by applying only the relevant fixes.

Sites to be Published:
Patches for CentOS 5 Native Tools site
Patches for CentOS 6 Native Tools site
Patches for CentOS 7 site

Actions to Take After the Update:

  • Sync your baselines and custom sites to ensure that they match with the Fixlets in the external sites.
  • Review the CentOS content and apply the latest Fixlets that are relevant.

Additional References:
BigFix announcement on RHN Classic’s EOL:
Red Hat’s Announcement on the RHN Classic to RHSM Transition:

_Application Engineering team _
IBM BigFix Patch