Is it good to upgrade the kernel?

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Is it good to upgrade the kernel?

Postby mint123 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:46 pm

I notice that Mint Updater is only set to update level 1 and 2. The other options are less stable. If I use Mint and never update the kernel or anything beyond level 1 and 2, is this a security problem? The kernel is level 5, so kernel patches would not be delivered, right?
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Re: Is it good to upgrade the kernel?

Postby Orbmiser on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:44 pm

Have mine set to include level 3 stuff with no issues.

But I see this all the time. And especially new to linux if you insist on a having a need for a stable system.
And can't afford to be down. Then leave well enough alone.

See many new that can't afford to break there system and don't have the knowledge or expertise to fix.

If like learning by doing and love the ride on bleeding edge than go for it and enjoy.
Tho for me it just makes sense to make backups of data or partitions so I can roll back on a borked system.

The other question to answer. Exactly why do you need to upgrade kernel? I mean does it give or fix something broken on your setup?
Way too many have this physiological race condition to be fresh and updated to the minute kind of neurotic obsession.

Personally just don't get the need for most. Now if you love tweaking and fiddling under the hood and expect things to break.
And derive pleasure from solving and fixing then go for it. But always backup your data or make backups of your partitions! :shock:
.
Last edited by Orbmiser on Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it good to upgrade the kernel?

Postby eanfrid on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:49 pm

I installed LM13 on my mother's PC 1 year ago (she is 75 and still open to "new" technologies ^^ - she said goodbye to Windows 7 without any regret). What I did is let her update herself her machine on levels 1-3. Besides I ssh to her machine in order to remotely install or upgrade more critical software like X or kernels and other "levels".

Updating the kernel is important but must not be done as a routine process. So always keep an older (the current one at least) working kernel on the machine when you update to a new patch release (i.e. from 3.5.x to 3.5.y) and this will save the day if the new release (unlikely) breaks something. All you have to do then if it happens to be broken is to reboot and load the previous kernel from the grub menu.

Edit: However, upgrading to a newer kernel (i.e. from 3.5.x to 3.8.z) is probably unnecessary unless either your current hardware is not well supported and you know for sure it will in the newer or if you need new features only available starting from this newer kernel and upwards.

My 2 cents.
Main desktop: Debian GNU/Linux Wheezy 64bit w/custom 3.14 longterm kernel - MATE 1.8.1
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