Update Manager: Kernel updates - security updates or new features only?

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Foster
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Update Manager: Kernel updates - security updates or new features only?

Post by Foster » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:51 am

moving on slightly, I am never sure about kernel updates with dire warnings ,are they a security feature or just to enable more modern
apps could someone enlighten in understandable text for a novice?
Last edited by karlchen on Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: split off from this thread: https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=275618#p1512230

gm10
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Re: I get Update Manager notifications for packages I don't have (18.3 Sylvia)

Post by gm10 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:10 am

Foster wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:51 am
moving on slightly, I am never sure about kernel updates with dire warnings ,are they a security feature or just to enable more modern
apps could someone enlighten in understandable text for a novice?
Kernel updates within the same series (the series is the first part of the version number, e.g. 4.10, 4.13, or 4,15.) are always bug fixes (this includes security fixes). For your Mint 18, only the kernel series 4.4 and 4.15 are LTS (long-term support) releases and are still receiving updates. so you should be using one of those.

Kernels of a different series come with different features and hardware drivers. Unless you run into compatibility issues, I would generally suggest to use the newest available series (4.15).

If you ever run into a problem with a kernel, the GRUB boot menu allows you to select a different one under the advanced options (hold shift after the BIOS logo/screen to access the menu if it does not show by default). After you did that you can then just remove the problematic one via Update Manager.

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JerryF
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Re: I get Update Manager notifications for packages I don't have (18.3 Sylvia)

Post by JerryF » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:39 am

Foster wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:51 am
moving on slightly, I am never sure about kernel updates with dire warnings ,are they a security feature or just to enable more modern
apps could someone enlighten in understandable text for a novice?
Please don't 'hijack' someone else's post. Please start your own post.
IF your problem has been solved, please edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members.

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Re: I get Update Manager notifications for packages I don't have (18.3 Sylvia)

Post by Foster » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:46 am

Oh sorry I thought it was part & parcel of the same subject

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karlchen
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Re: Update Manager: Kernel updates - security updates or new features only?

Post by karlchen » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:59 am

<moderator on>
Split off from this thread: I get Update Manager notifications for packages I don't have (18.3 Sylvia)
</moderator off>
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Re: Update Manager: Kernel updates - security updates or new features only?

Post by karlchen » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:03 am

Hi, Foster.

Kernel Updates, which also fix security issues, will be presented by the Update Manager with a red excalamation mark next to their names. Also you can check by reading the changelog for an update in the lower pane of Update Manager.

Regards,
Karl
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Foster
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Re: Update Manager: Kernel updates - security updates or new features only?

Post by Foster » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:33 pm

Thanks Karl I am never sure whether or not to allow the update as it is only described as kernel update with dire warnings about loss of wifi etc.

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Re: Update Manager: Kernel updates - security updates or new features only?

Post by JerryF » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:14 pm

Hi Foster,

If your machine is running well with the kernel series that you already have, I would stick with it. For example, I have 18.3 and have stayed with the 4.4 kernel series for my HP EliteBook. I believe the latest update was 4.4.131 in the 4.4 series.

When I did a reinstall of Mint onto a Dell laptop, I installed 18.3, but it installed kernel 4.13.xxx and that wasn't good for an older machine. The graphics was the problem. As soon as I installed a 4.4.xxx kernel (don't have the laptop to look at) and booted that kernel, the graphics problem was gone.

So, a newer kernel series is not always better.
IF your problem has been solved, please edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members.

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Re: Update Manager: Kernel updates - security updates or new features only?

Post by Foster » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:45 pm

my machines are far from new & I suppose the old adage " if its not broken dont fix it " could apply?

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Re: Update Manager: Kernel updates - security updates or new features only?

Post by JerryF » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:54 pm

Yep!
IF your problem has been solved, please edit your original post and add [SOLVED] to the beginning of the Subject Line. It helps other members.

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Re: Update Manager: Kernel updates - security updates or new features only?

Post by gm10 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:13 pm

On the other hand, kernels are basically self-contained, if one doesn't work it's easy to switch back to the previous one as if it never happened (see my previous post), so no real harm in trying them out if you want to.

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Re: Update Manager: Kernel updates - security updates or new features only?

Post by karlchen » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:44 am

JerryF wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:14 pm
For example, I have 18.3 and have stayed with the 4.4 kernel series for my HP EliteBook. I believe the latest update was 4.4.131 in the 4.4 series.
As my Mint 18.1 systems are running on older machines as well, I have started with and stayed with the kernel series 4.4.0 as well. :)
By the way: the most recent update for series 4.4.0 is K4.4.0-133(159). - And yes: it holds security fixes. Cf. USN-3741-1: Linux kernel vulnerabilities
And no, skipping the update is not the best idea.
With CPUs in all our machines, which are broken by design with respect to security, we will have to get used to receiving kernel updates, which fix the broken CPU behaviour, every 4 weeks or so.
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