Select Kernel

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looren
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Select Kernel

Post by looren »

Hi

Not sure if this has to do with the update to latest Mint, but as I was just looking through installed kernels and though I'd activate one of the newer ones I see that all options for activating other kernels than the one already active has been removed. All I can do is to remove inactive kernels. Why is this? Is there another way now to activate new kernels?

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catweazel
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Re: Select Kernel

Post by catweazel »

You need to be more specific.

What version of Linux Mint?
What edition? Xfce? Cinnamon? KDE? MATE?
What application are you using to view the kernels?
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looren
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Re: Select Kernel

Post by looren »

Oh, sorry
Using 18.2 Sonya with Cinnamon and the update manager to view the kernels

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Pjotr
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Re: Select Kernel

Post by Pjotr »

Before a kernel can become active, it needs to be installed. Update Manager lists all available kernels, including the kernels that aren't installed.

Your system automatically boots from the latest installed kernel of the latest kernel series. Only the kernel with which you've booted your system, gets the label "active" in Update Manager.
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looren
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Re: Select Kernel

Post by looren »

Yes, and kernel 4.8.0-58 is installed, although when I click it I no longer see the "Activate kernel" option as there were before. Only "Remove".

Moving over to 4.10 section there the Kernel is selected and says "Active". When i click it, I have no options besides bug rapport, changelog and cve.

I've tried rebooting, but it still comes up with 4.10 kernel as active.

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Pjotr
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Re: Select Kernel

Post by Pjotr »

You can only install a kernel or remove a kernel. That has not changed in any way at all.

Activation is an automatic process, determined by the kernel you boot from. As explained in my previous message.

If you wish to "activate" (i.e. boot from) another installed kernel, you need to select that other installed kernel in the Advanced section of the Grub bootloader menu. And then boot from it, which will give it the "active" label in Update Manager.
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looren
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Re: Select Kernel

Post by looren »

Hm, no..? I've always activated new kernels from Update manager / View / Linux kernels before.

While booting Mint goes directly to password prompt for disk encryption. How do I access the grub menu?

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Re: Select Kernel

Post by Pjotr »

looren wrote:Hm, no..? I've always activated new kernels from Update manager / View / Linux kernels before.

While booting Mint goes directly to password prompt for disk encryption. How do I access the grub menu?
Directly after the disappearance of the BIOS messages, press the left Shift key and keep it pressed until the Grub menu appears.
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looren
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Re: Select Kernel

Post by looren »

Okay, I see

Do I use the "upstart" or the first in line?

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Pjotr
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Re: Select Kernel

Post by Pjotr »

The first. :)
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looren
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Re: Select Kernel

Post by looren »

Awesome, thanks for the help :)

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Re: Select Kernel

Post by krustybaguette »

Linux Mint 18.3 MATE kernel 4.13.0-39-generic WARNING: My life story as it relates to Linux and Linux Mint in particular. Do not read unless you are a glutton for wordiness.

Many thanks to Pyotr, Catweazel, and the OP for this instructive thread dealing with kernels. I´ve been using Linux in various forms for around twenty years and had steadfastly avoided ¨messing with¨ kernels until a recent update to VirtualBox broke VirtualBox. After the update I couldn´t run the Windows 10 virtual machine that I needed in order to complete my Federal and State tax returns. That turned out to be false, but I was forced to use an online version of tax prep software instead of a downloadable Windows only version of the software I´d been using. In any case I still wanted to get VB working again and extensive Googling led me to the conclusion that the Spectre/Meltdown hack had necessitated kernel updates. At that point I was running an old kernel in the 4.1.0 or 4.13.# family.

Update Manager was showing updates to kernel headers as well as various other Level 4 updates. (I had generally avoided installing Level 4 and continue to avoid Level 5, which rarely appear anyway)
I decided to bite the bullet and installed everything related to the 4.13.+ family of kernels including the ¨headers¨. Lo and behold, my system continued working including Virtual Box.

Years ago I settled on Linux Mint as my go to Linux and had been using Cinnamon since Gnome was abandoned. All along I had made it a practice to ¨hide¨ kernel updates whenever listed in Update Manager. After I got my taxes filed I was able to go back to fixing my system. I had a long-problem with my file manager under Cinnamon which I tried to fix by installing an alternative. I don´t remember whether Nemo or Nautilus was the default under Cinnamon but I innocently decided to install the second one. That created havoc which rendered my system UNBOOTABLE. Well, it tried to boot but never finished. Using my tablet to do searching I decided that the only solution was a fresh install of Mint 18.3. I decided to switch to MATE even though I liked using those 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea themed file browser under Cinnamon. BTW, why do Nemo, Nautilus, CAJA, etc. not show up under their names but rather the uninspiring ¨File Browser¨?

Since I keep my /home on a separate physical drive it was relatively easy to install Mint 18.3 MATE (switched from Cinnamon) and after all the inevitable updates I had a working system until I reinstalled and updated VB (Under Cinnamon I had installed VB via a .deb downloaded from Oracle). Hmm, now I faced the question, should I install from Software Manager or download the deb file from Oracle again. I love it when installing a .deb you get a response like ¨An older (or newer) version exists in the repositories¨" along with ¨you should use the version in the repos as it is generally better supported¨. Having been burnt by those messages in connection with WINE in the past I think I went ahead with installing VB via the Software Manager. So now I had my taxes filed and I had VirtualBox working again. However, after installing Mint 18.3 MATE and installing all the updates to follow I was left with a collection of new Level 4 updates available. In addition there was an update from 5.2.8 to 5.2.10 for Virtual Box.

Given my history and fear and loathing associated with kernels and problems associated with installing from .deb vs. Software Manager I just left Update Manager alone...until this morning. Reading the helpful comments by Pyotr and Catweazel about kernels I decided to ¨bite the bullet¨ again. I installed the VB update which is considered a ¨minor¨ update based on its version 5.2.# and I decided to install the 4.4.# kernel even though I have no idea if it´s useful to me or not. It´s just that I got tired of seeing my tray icon for Update Manager always in red indicating ´updates available or needed´. In addition I learned how to look at grub manager and noticed there´s another mystery kernel listed 4.8.#. But as long I don´t do something stupid while looking at ¨advanced grub options¨ I´ll continue using 4.1.13... untill I learn why I should use a different kernel.

Anyone here have an opinion about 4.8.#?

Anyway, the big lessons for me from this series of disasters followed by solutions are:
  • Google is my friend
  • Linux Mint Forums are my friend
  • Don´t be aftraid of kernels

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