Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

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James_Smith
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Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by James_Smith » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:09 pm

I take very seriously the warnings that I may break my system if I download anything from the Update Manager that's red (Level 5). That being said, something called Linux Firmware seems to be, at worst, benign and, at best, something I need. Should I download/update it?
sudo apt-get --purge remove macOS

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Schultz
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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by Schultz » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:18 pm

I can't tell you whether you "should" update it or not. But for what it's worth, I updated it and suffered no ill effects. But YMMV.

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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by MintyO » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:42 pm

This comes up frequently nowadays. :wink: Update policy is a complex subject and you're the only one who can weigh the pros and cons for your situation. I'm pretty daring about those updates, but then again have some confidence in my ability about fixing things... or then boot into a live usb and come here begging for help. :lol:

You should read this:
viewtopic.php?f=60&t=239192&p=1277403
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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by all41 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:59 pm

Schultz wrote:I can't tell you whether you "should" update it or not. But for what it's worth, I updated it and suffered no ill effects. But YMMV.
That's more like it Shultz :)

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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by all41 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:07 am

@James_Smith
There is a reason these updates are considered unsafe and dangerous.
If you don't feel comfortable repairing a regression then you should just wait a while.
If this starts breaking systems you will find out right here in these forums.
But post the results of terminal inquiry:

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxz
this will focus more expertise to your question.

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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by Penn » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:43 am

Ask 10 different people you might get different answers.

My own way of determining -

Use the "inxi" report all41 asked for (which should be enough) or

Code: Select all

sudo lshw -html > hardware.html
then look at the file in your home folder called hardware.html and the changelog you can view in the update manager to determine -

Does it change firmware for hardware you have but doesn't work? If yes, it might fix things.
Does it change firmware for hardware you have that works fine? Look more into it. It might break something but it might make something work better.
Does it change firmware for hardware you don't even have? It shouldn't affect you now but it might if you change hardware.

For me, it isn't for any hardware on the one machine I have Ubuntu based Mint on (but I rarely use that one so I wouldn't be too worried if it caused an issue). The only time I saw firmware updates for hardware I had it made things work better, in a manner of speaking. My wifi card worked fine for the most part but it would occasionally drop the connection (after about 3 or 4 days with no reboot) before and after it never lost the connection. Reading more about it most users with that card were dropping connection after about 15 minutes before so I don't know why mine didn't do that.

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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by all41 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:57 am

Penn wrote:Ask 10 different people you might get different answers.

My own way of determining -
Did you accept this update and how did it go?

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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by Penn » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:44 am

all41 wrote:
Penn wrote:Ask 10 different people you might get different answers.

My own way of determining -
Did you accept this update and how did it go?
Yes I accepted it but only used that computer for about 5 minutes afterwards so I can't be certain but it seems fine. Then again, the changelog didn't list any of my hardware.

As far as that goes, if my own personal experience dictated how people made their decisions everything would be backwards from the currently held logic. I have installed every level 4 and 5 update, sometimes after waiting a week or so to see if there were reported issues, since I started with Mint (shortly after 17 was released and encompassing all versions including LMDE2 except 17.3) and never had a problem from those updates. However I have had multiple issues from levels 1 and 3 (easily fixed without having to ask for help here). Adding to my experience being "in reverse" would be a level 5 kernel update to 3.16.39 fixed a suspend issue I had since installing LMDE alittle more than a year ago. Then a level 1 mdm update broke it again. Fortunately I was able to figure out that if I uncommented a line in a single file it worked again.

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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by chrisonmint » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:10 am

James_Smith wrote:I take very seriously the warnings that I may break my system if I download anything from the Update Manager that's red (Level 5). That being said, something called Linux Firmware seems to be, at worst, benign and, at best, something I need. Should I download/update it?
Its interesting to think about the "dont break my system" approach to kernel and drivers here in Mint (ie level 5 and 4 respectively). An up-to-date kernel is essential for a more secure OS and most mint users are probably stuck using the kernel that they had on day 1.

LM 17.1 came with kernel 4.2.x I think and I experienced big problems with graphical glitches when i updated to the 4.4.x kernel series. I ended up going back down to 3.13.100 as the 4.2 kernel no longer receives security updates (its not the LTS one used in ubuntu 14.04 base). This was OK for me as my laptop is pretty old, so doesnt seem to need any of the new kernel stuff. Reading kernel changelogs is hard work and I dont find it helps me decide whether to upgrade or not.

As other posters mention, I do 2 things:
- know how to roll back to an older kernel
- dont jump on a new kernel straight away (in fact 3.13.0-108 is waiting for me in the update manager as we speak)

I dont like the way Mint hides kernel updates behind a scary "dont break me" message. Most other distros seem to treat kernel updates as important security updates and roll them out with all the others.

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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by Pjotr » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:59 am

chrisonmint wrote:I dont like the way Mint hides kernel updates behind a scary "dont break me" message. Most other distros seem to treat kernel updates as important security updates and roll them out with all the others.
The reason for the approach that Mint has, is this: kernel updates are usually not very important for desktop users (note that Mint is primarily a desktop OS, not a server OS). While at the same time, regressions in new kernels can have a very serious negative impact on your entire system.

I think Mint's way is sensible. I'm primarily a Mint user now, but I've been primarily a *buntu LTS user from 2006 until 2014. And in the long run (years) there was always at some point some kernel update that created mischief in my *buntu.

I know how to fix those, but that's not the issue. The issue is, that a small sacrifice in practical (not theoretical) security, can give you meaningful extra stability and reliability. Especially for beginners, this can make the difference between staying with Mint and going back to Windows....
Last edited by Pjotr on Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by karlchen » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:59 am

Minor correction:
LM 17.1 came with kernel 4.2.x
No, it did not. It came with the K3.13.0-xx series. :wink:
This is exactly why I installed Mint 17.1 first and upgraded to Mint 17.2 next: I wanted to have and stick to the LTS kernel series 3.13.0, but move on to Mint 17.2 nonetheless. Out of the box, the Mint 17.2 ISO image came with the K3.16.0-xx series (dead by now).
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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by xdicey » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:47 pm

But that's just the thing for newbies like me -only been using Mint 17.2 Sept or Oct 2015 and I still have Level 5 stuff I have not installed. How do I know I needed it and didn't install it? At the beginning, I used to install them without discrimination but after reading the many posts with warnings that installing Levels 4 / 5 without good reason is not kosher, so I stopped.

There are times my wireless printer stopped working and I just re-installed it not knowing whether or not one of those Levels 4 or 5 would have fixed that particular issue or, just break the whole system -so I left them alone.

Still, other than the periodic printer issue, I cannot honestly say, I've ever encountered an issue that prevented the computer from working. I power it on, it loads what needs to load in record time and I work without problems.

So the question is, looking at these Levels 4 /5 and considering I have not noticed any issue, do I need any of them now? or, can I just keep ignoring them for how long?

http://imgur.com/QoHt1iX

edit: yeah I know there are some Lvl 3. I'll get to them sometime.
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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by Pjotr » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:20 pm

xdicey wrote:So the question is, looking at these Levels 4 /5 and considering I have not noticed any issue, do I need any of them now? or, can I just keep ignoring them for how long?
No immediate need, but some time ago there were two kernel security issues with more relevance for desktop users than usual,which were fixed in a newer kernel. So in your place I would install the 3.13.0-108 kernel, which contains those fixes.

If, upon reboot, you encounter problems with the -108 kernel, you can always reboot and boot from the previous -83 kernel. The -83 kernel is still present in your system and in the Grub bootloader menu, under the header "Advanced".
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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by xdicey » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:35 pm

Pjotr wrote: No immediate need, but some time ago there were two kernel security issues with more relevance for desktop users than usual,which were fixed in a newer kernel. So in your place I would install the 3.13.0-108 kernel, which contains those fixes.

If, upon reboot, you encounter problems with the -108 kernel, you can always reboot and boot from the previous -83 kernel. The -83 kernel is still present in your system and in the Grub bootloader menu, under the header "Advanced".
Oh, dear. You mean the 4.4.0-45 kernel is now unsafe and I should return to the 3. xx series?
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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by xdicey » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:36 pm

xdicey wrote:
Pjotr wrote: No immediate need, but some time ago there were two kernel security issues with more relevance for desktop users than usual,which were fixed in a newer kernel. So in your place I would install the 3.13.0-108 kernel, which contains those fixes.

If, upon reboot, you encounter problems with the -108 kernel, you can always reboot and boot from the previous -83 kernel. The -83 kernel is still present in your system and in the Grub bootloader menu, under the header "Advanced".
Oh, dear. You mean the 4.4.0-45 kernel I'm currently using is now unsafe and I should return to the 3. xx series?
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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by Pjotr » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:38 pm

xdicey wrote:
Pjotr wrote: No immediate need, but some time ago there were two kernel security issues with more relevance for desktop users than usual,which were fixed in a newer kernel. So in your place I would install the 3.13.0-108 kernel, which contains those fixes.

If, upon reboot, you encounter problems with the -108 kernel, you can always reboot and boot from the previous -83 kernel. The -83 kernel is still present in your system and in the Grub bootloader menu, under the header "Advanced".
Oh, dear. You mean the 4.4.0-45 kernel is now unsafe and I should return to the 3. xx series?
No. I assumed that your system was running on the 3.13.0-83 kernel. If it's running on the 4.4.0-45, I recommend the 4.4.0-62.

Check your running kernel:

Code: Select all

uname -r
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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by Penn » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:48 pm

xdicey wrote:
Pjotr wrote: No immediate need, but some time ago there were two kernel security issues with more relevance for desktop users than usual,which were fixed in a newer kernel. So in your place I would install the 3.13.0-108 kernel, which contains those fixes.

If, upon reboot, you encounter problems with the -108 kernel, you can always reboot and boot from the previous -83 kernel. The -83 kernel is still present in your system and in the Grub bootloader menu, under the header "Advanced".
Oh, dear. You mean the 4.4.0-45 kernel is now unsafe and I should return to the 3. xx series?
No. Which particular kernel withing a series is patched depends on both the series number and what distro you are running. 4.4.0-45 is the Ubuntu patched version in the 4.4 series. I'm not sure what the second is Pjotr mentioned so if it came after Dirty Cow I could be wrong and you would need to move to a later 4.4 kernel but I think both are covered in that one.

For Ubuntu information on this since most here are using the Ubuntu base.

http://askubuntu.com/questions/839919/w ... t-that-bug

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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by xdicey » Sat Feb 11, 2017 5:52 pm

Pjotr wrote:
No. I assumed that your system was running on the 3.13.0-83 kernel. If it's running on the 4.4.0-45, I recommend the 4.4.0-62.

Check your running kernel:

Code: Select all

uname -r
uname -r

Code: Select all

4.4.0-45-generic
Thanks Pjtor; I'll install the 4x -62 at some point then.
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Re: Should I download/update Linux Firmware 1.157.8?

Post by xdicey » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:02 pm

Penn wrote:
No. Which particular kernel withing a series is patched depends on both the series number and what distro you are running. 4.4.0-45 is the Ubuntu patched version in the 4.4 series. I'm not sure what the second is Pjotr mentioned so if it came after Dirty Cow I could be wrong and you would need to move to a later 4.4 kernel but I think both are covered in that one.

For Ubuntu information on this since most here are using the Ubuntu base.

http://askubuntu.com/questions/839919/w ... t-that-bug
As it is, Penn, I'm using Mint Cinnamon 17.2. The highest kernel in Update Manager is 4.4.0-62.
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