Managing automatic agent updates
By default, devices are automatically updated to the latest agent version as new versions are released.
Depending on the needs of your organization, you may want to control the version of the Absolute agent installed on the devices in your account. By disabling automatic agent updates, you can remain on a particular version of the Absolute agent and update to a new agent version at your discretion.
After you've disabled automatic agent updates, you can re-enable them at any time.
NOTE To learn about the features, improvements, and fixes introduced in each version of the agent, review the agent release notes.
If you plan to disable automatic agent updates for an extended period of time, we recommend that you carefully consider the following implications of this action:
The current version of the Absolute agent is assigned to all Windows and Mac devices in your account, including newly activated devices. When new versions of the agent are released, your devices are not updated.
- Newer versions of the agent may contain new features, important bug fixes, and security enhancements, which will not be applied to your devices.
- Assigning an agent version to your devices prevents agent updates, but it does not prevent the update of the Absolute console. Because the console is a web-based SaaS solution, it is always set to the most recent version of Absolute. Therefore, as new versions of Absolute are released, there may be features and functionality available in the console that are not supported by the agent version assigned to your devices.
- As per Absolute's Agent Version Management Policy, your account can remain on a particular agent version for up to 18 months. When support for that particular version is coming to an end, you will be notified that you need to update the agent on your devices by either assigning a newer agent version or re-enabling automatic agent updates.
Absolute Technical Support provide service for up to 18 months after the initial release date for each Absolute agent version.
Solutions to defects found in supported versions (despite severity) will be applied to the latest version.
Absolute discovers that an issue was introduced in version 7.20, but the latest version is 7.21. To fix the issue, Absolute releases hotfix 126.96.36.199 on top of version 7.21. Version 7.20 remains unchanged.
To prevent devices from automatically updating to the latest agent version:
- Log in to the Absolute console as a user with Manage permissions for Version Control. All default Administrator roles are granted this permission.
On the navigation bar, click > Agent Management.
The Agent Management page opens to show the Allow Absolute to manage agent updates slider. If the slider is green, the setting is enabled. Devices will be updated when a new agent version is released. If it is gray, the setting is already disabled.
Click the green slider to disable it.
In the confirmation dialog that shows, click Disable automated updates.
The page refreshes to show the current agent version followed by the list of policy groups assigned to that version. The slider is now set to Off (gray). The following labels are applied to the agent version:
- LATEST: indicates that this agent version is the most recently released version
- DEFAULT: indicates that this agent version will automatically be assigned to all new policy groups
When a new version of the Absolute agent is released, your devices will not be updated.
If automatic agent updates are disabled for your account, you can re-enable them.
NOTE To determine if automatic agent updates are disabled for your account, check the configuration of the Allow Absolute to manage agent updates slider on the Agent Management page. If the slider is gray, the setting is disabled; if it's green, the setting is already enabled.
Enabling automatic agent updates assigns the latest agent version to all policy groups. All devices are updated to the applicable agent version on their next connection to the Absolute Monitoring Center.
As soon as you enable automatic agent updates, all earlier versions of the agent version are no longer available, even if you immediately disable automatic agent updates again. This is because you can't downgrade the Absolute agent.
An administrator disables automatic agent updates, which assigns agent version 7.20 to all policy groups. Over the next 6 months, three new versions of the agent are released. The latest version, 188.8.131.52, contains an enhancement that the administrator wants to apply to the devices. The administrator re-enables automatic agent updates and agent version 184.108.40.206 is assigned to all policy groups. The administrator immediately changes his mind and disables automatic agent updates again. Since agent downgrades are not supported, agent version 7.20 is no longer available. All devices are updated to version 220.127.116.11 on their next connection to the Absolute Monitoring Center.
Therefore, if you want to test a new agent version, or you think you may change your mind about updating all devices, do not enable automatic agent updates until you test the latest agent version on some test devices.
To enable automatic agent updates:
- Log in to the Absolute console as a user with Manage permissions for Version Control.
- On the navigation bar, click > Agent Management. The Allow Absolute to manage agent updates slider is set to Off (gray).
- Click the slider to enable it.
- In the confirmation dialog that shows, click Turn on automated updates.
The page refreshes to show that all policy groups are assigned to the latest version of the Absolute agent. The slider is now set to On (green).