[SOLVED] How do I know if I really need kernel headers?

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FuLl
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[SOLVED] How do I know if I really need kernel headers?

Postby FuLl » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:53 pm

I'm on Mint 18 & have the Update Manager's 'Update Policy' set to the middle 'Optimize stability and security' where it shows me 'security and kernel update' packages but doesn't select to install them by default. Normally I see more 'Kernel Headers' entries than 'Kernel' entries, as they seem to be updated more often than the actual kernel does.

So for the sake of stability I don't install the new kernels until after I do a Clonezilla disk backup to an external drive. I've been ignoring the 'Kernel Header' updates & waiting until I see a 'Kernel' entry to go through this process, since the 'Kernel Headers' are updated so often.

As I understand it, I only need the headers if I'm compiling my own kernel, which I don't do. So I'd like to know if by not updating the 'Kernel Header' packages as frequently as I do the actual kernels, is it in theory a security risk having out-of-date headers installed? Can I just uninstall them & not have them showing up & being ignored in the Update Manager?
Last edited by FuLl on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pjotr
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Re: How do I know if I really need kernel headers?

Postby Pjotr » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:20 am

FuLl wrote:So for the sake of stability I don't install the new kernels until after I do a Clonezilla disk backup to an external drive.

That's not necessary. The old kernels are still there; you can still boot from them. They're hidden under the Advanced section of the Grub bootloader menu.

Kernel updates are therefore the updates that are, by far, the easiest to undo (should they cause problems). :)

As I understand it, I only need the headers if I'm compiling my own kernel, which I don't do. So I'd like to know if by not updating the 'Kernel Header' packages as frequently as I do the actual kernels, is it in theory a security risk having out-of-date headers installed? Can I just uninstall them & not have them showing up & being ignored in the Update Manager?

Just keep installing the headers.... You never know when you might need them, e.g. when you wish to install a driver.
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Fred Barclay
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Re: How do I know if I really need kernel headers?

Postby Fred Barclay » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:41 am

Another time you'll need the headers installed is if you run something like VirtualBox inside Mint.
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FuLl
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Re: [SOLVED] How do I know if I really need kernel headers?

Postby FuLl » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:29 pm

These answer my question, thanks for your replies.


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