[ SOLVED ] New Kernel updates

Chat about anything related to Linux Mint
Post Reply
User avatar
JTemple
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:42 pm
Location: Southern ON Canada

[ SOLVED ] New Kernel updates

Post by JTemple »

Is it important to apply kernel updates? If everything is working well, it seems, to me, that if it ain't broke, why fix it? It does seem the most likely problems in updates are the new kernels.
Last edited by JTemple on Sun May 16, 2021 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. “- Bertrand Russell (I suspect I'm often of the stupid variety!)
motoryzen
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 661
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:25 am

Re: New Kernel updates

Post by motoryzen »

JTemple wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 11:10 pm
Is it important to apply kernel updates? If everything is working well, it seems, to me, that if it ain't broke, why fix it? It does seem the most likely problems in updates are the new kernels.
The only situations where it makes sense to upgrade the kernel version involves one or more of the following possible things:

1. The specific kernel version you're considering upgrading to will provide proper or improved cpu or other component performance.

2. It can finally allow a component/device to work properly ( kernel 5.8 is a good example of a major kernel update that has fixed far more problems that the very rare not even hand fulls of users claimed it created and often that's on much older hardware..meaning 12+ years old easily)

3. The Updated Kernel allows some added/new functionality that you didn't have before.

4. There is a legit security concern with whatever the current kernel you have, and it's well mentioned/documented across many linux forum sites..that the upgraded/updated Kernel version has a solid patch for...and there is no talk of your current kernel getting the security patch..( Honestly don't know how applicable this is. I'm no Linux expert)

Otherwise if none of these things apply, don't even worry about upgrading to another kernel. " if it isn't broken..don't fix it" is a reasonable mindset that can last a long time.

When in doubt, do a time shift and a manual back up....then ..you can feel more comfortable trying a kernel update.
User avatar
Pjotr
Level 22
Level 22
Posts: 16550
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:18 am
Location: The Netherlands (Holland) 🇳🇱
Contact:

Re: New Kernel updates

Post by Pjotr »

JTemple wrote:
Sat May 15, 2021 11:10 pm
Is it important to apply kernel updates? If everything is working well, it seems, to me, that if it ain't broke, why fix it? It does seem the most likely problems in updates are the new kernels.
Yes and no.

Generally, you should install kernel updates for the sake of security (they almost always contain security fixes). Booting from a previous kernel in case of a rotten apple, is easy: you can find those previous kernels tucked away under the header Advanced in the Grub bootloader menu.

However, the practical security risks of running an outdated and therefore insecure kernel are usually low. The high-risk stuff is elsewhere in your system: think of things like your web browsers etc.

So it's certainly not wildly irresponsible or highly dangerous to continue to use an outdated kernel. There are circumstances under which it can be a reasonable policy to do so.
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 20.1 Ulyssa
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
Twitter: twitter.com/easylinuxtips
All in all, horse sense simply makes sense.
User avatar
JTemple
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:42 pm
Location: Southern ON Canada

Re: [ SOLVED ] New Kernel updates

Post by JTemple »

Thank You both, Motoryzen & Pjotr
BTW: Do the latest downloads for LM always contain the latest kernels? Just curious.
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. “- Bertrand Russell (I suspect I'm often of the stupid variety!)
dorsetUK
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:40 am

Re: [ SOLVED ] New Kernel updates

Post by dorsetUK »

JTemple wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 10:31 am
Thank You both, Motoryzen & Pjotr
BTW: Do the latest downloads for LM always contain the latest kernels? Just curious.
Hi JTemple

For me, the great thing about Mint is that it sticks to the Long Term Support [LTS] kernel. ... Stable.

If you're running 'modern stuff,' see the 'Edge' version, and if you want to experiment then install whichever kernel you want. In the end, I'm still running the 4.15 kernel on one elderly computer, which is still supported because it's a LTS.
User avatar
JTemple
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:42 pm
Location: Southern ON Canada

Re: [ SOLVED ] New Kernel updates

Post by JTemple »

dorsetUK wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 12:30 pm
JTemple wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 10:31 am
Thank You both, Motoryzen & Pjotr
BTW: Do the latest downloads for LM always contain the latest kernels? Just curious.
Hi JTemple

For me, the great thing about Mint is that it sticks to the Long Term Support [LTS] kernel. ... Stable.

If you're running 'modern stuff,' see the 'Edge' version, and if you want to experiment then install whichever kernel you want. In the end, I'm still running the 4.15 kernel on one elderly computer, which is still supported because it's a LTS.
I'm pretty happy with my system, as is! It is stable, trouble free and looks pretty enough for me. I'll stick with my current kernel.
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. “- Bertrand Russell (I suspect I'm often of the stupid variety!)
dorsetUK
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 596
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:40 am

Re: [ SOLVED ] New Kernel updates

Post by dorsetUK »

JTemple wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 12:57 pm
I'm pretty happy with my system, as is! It is stable, trouble free and looks pretty enough for me. I'll stick with my current kernel.
That's great, but being pedantic - say that you're running the 5.4 kernel, then any updates for that kernel should be applied. I seem to be running '5.4.0.73' and if/when updates come through, I'll apply them - bearing in mind that I used Timeshift recently.
Post Reply