Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

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br1anstorm
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Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by br1anstorm »

I wasn't sure whether to post here or in the wider "Chat" forum.... but here goes.

I've been a convert to Linux and Mint user for - um - about five years, and have successively installed 17.x, 18.x and 19.x.

I'm quite conscientious about updating; I take security seriously; and I am careful about backing up both my system (Timeshift) and my data (Back-In-Time). Probably like most users.

In earlier versions (17, 18) of Mint, the Update Manager had a rating or options system where you could opt out of 'major' (or higher-risk) system updates like new kernels. So in the early years I sailed along merrily without updating the kernel.

Mint 19.x feeds you kernel updates by default. Fine. So I took wise forum advice and got into the habit of doing a system backup before each kernel upgrade. Also fine.... up to a point. I end up with a lot of backups - which I periodically delete.

My gentle moan is that rightly or wrongly, I'm getting the impression that there's a kernel update almost every week! Seems much more frequent than was the case a year or two ago. Am I wrong? I'm making - and then deleting - system backups as often as I change my socks (!!).

I know it's optional and I could choose not to update the kernel and instead endure the repeated nagging from the Update Manager as it continues to list what I have ignored. But I end up wondering - is it really necessary to push out kernel updates so frequently? As it is (by my understanding) as central to the OS as the engine is to my car, do I have to do the equivalent of an engine transplant or replacement quite so often? My Mint computer is a daily driver, not a Formula 1 racecar to be rebuilt between each race....
Last edited by karlchen on Tue Mar 17, 2020 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Thread moved to "Chat about Linux Mint", because this is what the discussion about kernel updates on LM is, no support requested. ;-)

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Kadaitcha Man
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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

br1anstorm wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:39 pm
My gentle moan is that rightly or wrongly, I'm getting the impression that there's a kernel update almost every week! Seems much more frequent than was the case a year or two ago. Am I wrong? I'm making - and then deleting - system backups as often as I change my socks (!!).
7,771,362,385 people, the world over, rejoice at not having to wash your socks.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.

br1anstorm
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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by br1anstorm »

Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:00 pm

7,771,362,385 people, the world over, rejoice at not having to wash your socks.
There's no answer to that, except perhaps to say it's just as well I didn't mention any other items of clothing......

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Kadaitcha Man
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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

br1anstorm wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:20 pm
Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:00 pm

7,771,362,385 people, the world over, rejoice at not having to wash your socks.
There's no answer to that, except perhaps to say it's just as well I didn't mention any other items of clothing......
I need brain bleach...
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.

sleeper12
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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by sleeper12 »

Not sure why you feel a need to do a system backup before each kernel upgrade. It's easy enough to return to the previous kernel if the update gives a problem:
https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.c ... e.html#ID9

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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by AZgl1500 »

about 2-1/2 years ago, I loaned my sister ( 1500 miles far away ) my Dell laptop which has 18.3 Cinnamon on it.

as I was brand new with Mint again.... tried it 4 or 5 years ago, and gave up :( could not run the Win Apps that I had to have, and used every day.

So.... decision, let it update automatically? or just leave it alone as is?
I chickened out and made it a manual thing to do.....

for 2 years, never heard a word about that laptop.. until this week.

Big Brudder, how do I fix hubby's password?
good thing I set it up with me as Admin....
had her login as me, and talked her through fixing his password....

then I hear an unhappy voice in the background..... I want that damn thing set up so I am the Administrator.... uh, to make the household stay in peace, showed her how to do that.

so far, so good, and we shall see how long hubby goes without breaking it.... :?:

He hates Linux with a passion, but his Windows laptop crashed big time, and he has to use my Dell :mrgreen:

wonder how long it will take to make him a convert :?:

So, in response to your question, do you need to update the Kernel?
depends on your approach to security I suppose, as long as it continues to play, leave it alone.

worst case, we rebuild it again with 19.3 Cinnamon, and it will fly so fast, they will gasp :lol:
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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by smurphos »

br1anstorm wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:39 pm
My gentle moan is that rightly or wrongly, I'm getting the impression that there's a kernel update almost every week! Seems much more frequent than was the case a year or two ago. Am I wrong? I'm making - and then deleting - system backups as often as I change my socks (!!).

I know it's optional and I could choose not to update the kernel and instead endure the repeated nagging from the Update Manager as it continues to list what I have ignored. But I end up wondering - is it really necessary to push out kernel updates so frequently?
The normal Ubuntu release schedule for kernels is circa every 3 weeks. They may be more frequent (normally to patch a high priority security issue or fix an high priority bug in the previous release), or less frequent (normally because a release candidate fails testing).

As to necessity - most kernel releases are fixing security issues and or fixing minor bugs so if security of your system is of any priority then ultimately yes it is necessary.
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Kadaitcha Man
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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

smurphos wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 1:16 am
most kernel releases are fixing security issues and or fixing minor bugs
You wouldn't say that if you read the kernel release notices. A lot of new functionality goes in.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.

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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by smurphos »

I do read them - simplified answer for the masses... :wink:
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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

smurphos wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 1:31 am
I do read them - simplified answer for the masses... :wink:
lol - like my reply earlier in another thread.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.

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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by oldgranola »

Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 1:22 am
smurphos wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 1:16 am
most kernel releases are fixing security issues and or fixing minor bugs
You wouldn't say that if you read the kernel release notices. A lot of new functionality goes in.
Remember there is a difference between new mainline kernel releases like 5.4.x mainline stable which can be upgrades with new driver features etc plus security versus distro specific like LM19.3 's LTS 5.0.0.-43 to 5.0.0.-x updates which almost never contain new features and are almost always security or stability patches.
comadore, pcDOS, hpux, solaris, vms-vax ....blah blah blah..
Yet I'm still a fn nooob

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Kadaitcha Man
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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

oldgranola wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:09 pm
Remember there is a difference between new mainline kernel releases like 5.4.x mainline stable which can be upgrades with new driver features etc plus security versus distro specific like LM19.3 's LTS 5.0.0.-43 to 5.0.0.-x updates which almost never contain new features and are almost always security or stability patches.
Err, no. Totally incorrect. To start, 5.0.x is dead, and is most certainly not LTS. As for the rest of the claim, a quick visit and an even quicker scan of https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+changelog puts the lie to such unsubstantiated claims.
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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by Portreve »

I keep very little actively-being-used data on my computer. Everything lives redundantly on external storage. I've had a long tradition and habit of nuking-n-paving my computer periodically during the course of a year, so by not having data on the machine to worry about, I obviate the need to bother backing up the computer itself.
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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by bjmh46 »

Add my "gentle moan" to the OP's. I gave up kernel updates long ago, unless there is a real security fix that I feel affects me/my use-case. I ran 17 for 5 years on the 3.13 kernel and probably only updated it twice. When the processor panic hit a couple of years ago, we were bombarded with kernel updates which I soon tired of. With Mint 19, I went with the flow and updated everything for a while, but got tired of the constant kernel updates and now have them on ignore--funny, I never get a nag from the update manager. I DO read the ubuntu security notices, and will occasionally do a kernel update for security reasons, but not often.

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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by Lady Fitzgerald »

Unlike when I was using Windwoes, I just don't worry about updates. When the little icon in the panel shows I have one, I just choose a convenient time to install it (usually within a few minutes of when I see it). It takes far less time for this than even a quick restroom break (or change socks?). This is one of the things I love about Linux!

I manually make a Timeshift backup every Monday so I can easily roll back if an update should go sideways (unlike Windoze, it hasn't happened yet). With the kernel (thank you, Moem, for telling me I was spelling kernel wrong), I will make a Timeshift backup just before updating the kernel. Life is too short (especially for a flatulent geriatric like me) to worry about things like this when there is no need to.
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Re: Kernel updates - a gentle moan!

Post by AZgl1500 »

I stopped Kernel Updates when one broke something on my PC.
I blacklisted all future Kernel updates.

3 years ago, I gave one of my Laptops to a sister who lives 1500 miles away.....
she never heard of Linux, but wanted a Backup if the world crashes.....
that was when she spilled a glass of Coca Cola on her brand new Panasonic laptop....
scared her bad......

she turned it over, drained out the soup, had a friend "repair it"... all is well again.

But, with that episode, I took a very old Dell laptop and installed 18.3 Cinnamon on it....
and Froze the Updates.... I could not risk it crashing and her clueless as to how to fix it.

That Dell is still working for her, she had to pull it out 6 weeks ago, when her hubby did something to his Win10 laptop, or more likely when M$ messed it up for him.....
He don't like Linux with a Passion: something to do with where he worked and they forced Linux on him.
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