Instana’s agents are two types, based on their update policy:
1. Dynamic - this agent downloads the latest set of sensors from repositories on each restart; also, by default a dynamic agent will update itself on a daily basis with the latest and greatest capabilities released.
2. Static* - this agent is self-contained and includes all the latest available components at the time of its release; it has no dynamic update capabilities.
*the static needs to be re-installed to a dynamic agent if you want to update it to a newer version.
You can check a bit more about the agent types, and agent modes here:
Ways to update the agents
a) via the User Interface (for the dynamic agent)
1. From the Main Menu select “Agents” to navigate to the Agents dashboard
2. Select an agent which you want to update via the “Agent Details” list
3. Use “Update Agent” option under the “Management” section
1. Open the Agent Management dashboard on the host of interest
2. Use “Update Agent” option under the “Management” section
b) via version pinning (for both types):
Every change to the host agent is released as a set of all the agent components, called version. All released versions are available at the Agent Updates Git repository, and they are identified by the commit's sha, which is a unique identifier for each entry in the history of the repository.
It is possible to select a specific version by setting the configuration file before startup - found here:
And then pasting your desired sha:
version = <sha>
You can read more about what sha to pin, and pinning in general in this article:
c) via configuring the automatic updates ( for the dynamic agent):
By default, the dynamic host agent checks for new versions each day at approximately 4:30 am. This automatic check can be disabled, set to a preferred time of day, or set to run on specific days.
Configuration parameters are in the etc/instana/com.instana.agent.main.config.UpdateManager.cfg file:
# Instana Update Manager configuration.
# AUTO for automatic updates with given schedule. OFF for no automatic updates.
mode = AUTO
# DAY for daily, MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY
every = DAY
# Time is hh:mm in 24 hours format.
at = 04:30