How to programmatically manage updates for Azure VMs

This article walks you through the process of using the Azure REST API to trigger an assessment and an update deployment on your Azure virtual machine with update management center (preview) in Azure. If you are new to update management center (preview) and you want to learn more, see overview of update management center (preview). To use the Azure REST API to manage Arc-enabled servers, see How to programmatically work with Arc-enabled servers.

Update management center (private preview) in Azure enables you to use the Azure REST API for access programmatically. Additionally, you can use the appropriate REST commands from Azure PowerShell and Azure CLI.

Support for Azure REST API to manage Azure VMs is available through the update management center (preview) virtual machine extension.

Update assessment

To trigger an update assessment on your Azure VM, specify the following POST request:

POST on `subscriptions/subscriptionId/resourceGroups/resourceGroupName/providers/Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/virtualMachineName/assessPatches?api-version=2020-12-01`

To specify the POST request, you can use the Azure CLI az rest command.

az rest --method post --url https://management.azure.com/subscriptions/subscriptionId/resourceGroups/resourceGroupName/providers/Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/virtualMachineName/assessPatches?api-version=2020-12-01

Update deployment

To trigger an update deployment to your Azure VM, specify the following POST request:

POST on `subscriptions/subscriptionId/resourceGroups/resourceGroupName/providers/Microsoft.Compute/machines/virtualMachineName/installPatches?api-version=2020-12-01`

Request body

The following table describes the elements of the request body:

Property Description
maximumDuration Maximum amount of time that the operation runs. It must be an ISO 8601-compliant duration string such as PT4H (4 hours).
rebootSetting Flag to state if machine should be rebooted if Guest OS update installation requires it for completion. Acceptable values are: IfRequired, NeverReboot, AlwaysReboot.
windowsParameters Parameter options for Guest OS update on Azure VMs running a supported Microsoft Windows Server operating system.
windowsParameters - classificationsToInclude List of categories/classifications to be used for selecting the updates to be installed on the machine. Acceptable values are: Critical, Security, UpdateRollUp, FeaturePack, ServicePack, Definition, Tools, Updates
windowsParameters - kbNumbersToInclude List of Windows Update KB Ids that should be installed. All updates belonging to the classifications provided in classificationsToInclude list will be installed. kbNumbersToInclude is an optional list of specific KBs to be installed in addition to the classifications. For example: 1234
windowsParameters - kbNumbersToExclude List of Windows Update KB Ids that should not be installed. This parameter overrides windowsParameters - classificationsToInclude, meaning a Windows Update KB Id specified here will not be installed even if it belongs to the classification provided under classificationsToInclude parameter.
linuxParameters Parameter options for Guest OS update on Azure VMs running a supported Linux server operating system.
linuxParameters - classificationsToInclude List of categories/classifications to be used for selecting the updates to be installed on the machine. Acceptable values are: Critical, Security, Other
linuxParameters - packageNameMasksToInclude List of Linux packages that should be installed. All updates belonging to the classifications provided in classificationsToInclude list will be installed. packageNameMasksToInclude is an optional list of package names to be installed in addition to the classifications. For example: mysql, libc=1.0.1.1, kernel*
linuxParameters - packageNameMasksToExclude List of updates that should not be installed. This parameter overrides linuxParameters - packageNameMasksToExclude, meaning a package specified here will not be installed even if it belongs to the classification provided under classificationsToInclude parameter.

To specify the POST request, you can use the following Azure REST API call with valid parameters and values.

POST on 'subscriptions/{subscriptionId}/resourceGroups/acmedemo/providers/Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/ameacr/installPatches?api-version=2020-12-01

{
    "maximumDuration": "PT120M",
    "rebootSetting": "IfRequired",
    "windowsParameters": {
      "classificationsToInclude": [
        "Security",
        "UpdateRollup",
        "FeaturePack",
        "ServicePack"
      ],
      "kbNumbersToInclude": [
        "11111111111",
        "22222222222222"
      ],
      "kbNumbersToExclude": [
        "333333333333",
        "55555555555"
      ]
    }
  }'

Create a maintenance configuration schedule

To create a maintenance configuration schedule, specify the following PUT request:

PUT on `/subscriptions/<subscriptionId>/resourceGroups/<resourceGroup>/providers/Microsoft.Maintenance/maintenanceConfigurations/<maintenanceConfigurationsName>?api-version=2021-09-01-preview`

Request body

The following table describes the elements of the request body:

Property Description
id Fully qualified identifier of the resource
location Gets or sets location of the resource
name Name of the resource
properties.extensionProperties Gets or sets extensionProperties of the maintenanceConfiguration
properties.maintenanceScope Gets or sets maintenanceScope of the configuration
properties.maintenanceWindow.duration Duration of the maintenance window in HH:MM format. If not provided, default value will be used based on maintenance scope provided. Example: 05:00.
properties.maintenanceWindow.expirationDateTime Effective expiration date of the maintenance window in YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm format. The window will be created in the time zone provided and adjusted to daylight savings according to that time zone. Expiration date must be set to a future date. If not provided, it will be set to the maximum datetime 9999-12-31 23:59:59.
properties.maintenanceWindow.recurEvery Rate at which a maintenance window is expected to recur. The rate can be expressed as daily, weekly, or monthly schedules. Daily schedule are formatted as recurEvery: [Frequency as integer]['Day(s)']. If no frequency is provided, the default frequency is 1. Daily schedule examples are recurEvery: Day, recurEvery: 3Days. Weekly schedule are formatted as recurEvery: [Frequency as integer]['Week(s)'] [Optional comma separated list of weekdays Monday-Sunday]. Weekly schedule examples are recurEvery: 3Weeks, recurEvery: Week Saturday,Sunday. Monthly schedules are formatted as [Frequency as integer]['Month(s)'] [Comma separated list of month days] or [Frequency as integer]['Month(s)'] [Week of Month (First, Second, Third, Fourth, Last)] [Weekday Monday-Sunday]. Monthly schedule examples are recurEvery: Month, recurEvery: 2Months, recurEvery: Month day23,day24, recurEvery: Month Last Sunday, recurEvery: Month Fourth Monday.
properties.maintenanceWindow.startDateTime Effective start date of the maintenance window in YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm format. The start date can be set to either the current date or future date. The window will be created in the time zone provided and adjusted to daylight savings according to that time zone.
properties.maintenanceWindow.timeZone Name of the timezone. List of timezones can be obtained by executing [System.TimeZoneInfo]::GetSystemTimeZones() in PowerShell. Example: Pacific Standard Time, UTC, W. Europe Standard Time, Korea Standard Time, Cen. Australia Standard Time.
properties.namespace Gets or sets namespace of the resource
properties.visibility Gets or sets the visibility of the configuration. The default value is 'Custom'
systemData Azure Resource Manager metadata containing createdBy and modifiedBy information.
tags Gets or sets tags of the resource
type Type of the resource

To specify the POST request, you can use the following Azure REST API call with valid parameters and values.

PUT on '/subscriptions/0f55bb56-6089-4c7e-9306-41fb78fc5844/resourceGroups/atscalepatching/providers/Microsoft.Maintenance/maintenanceConfigurations/TestAzureInGuestAdv2?api-version=2021-09-01-preview

{
  "location": "eastus2euap",
  "properties": {
    "namespace": null,
    "extensionProperties": {
      "InGuestPatchMode" : "User"
    },
    "maintenanceScope": "InGuestPatch",
    "maintenanceWindow": {
      "startDateTime": "2021-08-21 01:18",
      "expirationDateTime": "2221-05-19 03:30",
      "duration": "01:30",
      "timeZone": "India Standard Time",
      "recurEvery": "Day"
    },
    "visibility": "Custom",
    "installPatches": {
      "rebootSetting": "IfRequired",
      "windowsParameters": {
        "classificationsToInclude": [
          "Security",
          "Critical",
          "UpdateRollup"
        ]
      },
      "linuxParameters": {
        "classificationsToInclude": [
          "Other"
        ]
      }
    }
  }
}'

Associate a VM with a schedule

To associate a VM with a maintenance configuration schedule, specify the following PUT request:

PUT on `<ARC or Azure VM resourceId>/providers/Microsoft.Maintenance/configurationAssignments/<configurationAssignment name>?api-version=2021-09-01-preview`

To specify the PUT request, you can use the following Azure REST API call with valid parameters and values.

PUT on '/subscriptions/0f55bb56-6089-4c7e-9306-41fb78fc5844/resourceGroups/atscalepatching/providers/Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/win-atscalepatching-1/providers/Microsoft.Maintenance/configurationAssignments/TestAzureInGuestAdv?api-version=2021-09-01-preview

{
  "properties": {
    "maintenanceConfigurationId": "/subscriptions/0f55bb56-6089-4c7e-9306-41fb78fc5844/resourcegroups/atscalepatching/providers/Microsoft.Maintenance/maintenanceConfigurations/TestAzureInGuestIntermediate2"
  },
  "location": "eastus2euap"
}'

Next steps

  • To view update assessment and deployment logs generated by update management center (preview), see query logs.
  • To troubleshoot issues, see Troubleshoot update management center (preview).