Linux Kernel 4.4.0.112 - To update or not to update?

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KostasP
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Linux Kernel 4.4.0.112 - To update or not to update?

Post by KostasP » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:39 pm

Also which update to choose, 4.4.0.112.118, 4.4.0-112.135 or both? I knew the previous update to 109 was crucial due to Meltdown and Spectre but now what?

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System:    Host: togo-P5Q Kernel: 4.4.0-109-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 5.4.0)
           Desktop: Cinnamon 3.6.7 (Gtk 3.18.9-1ubuntu3.3)
           Distro: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia
Machine:   System: Gigabyte product: B250M-DS3H v: Default string
           Mobo: Gigabyte model: B250M-DS3H-CF v: x.x
           Bios: American Megatrends v: F2 date: 11/24/2016
CPU:       Dual core Intel Pentium G4600 (-HT-MCP-) cache: 3072 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 14401
           clock speeds: max: 3600 MHz 1: 800 MHz 2: 800 MHz 3: 800 MHz
           4: 948 MHz
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA GM206 [GeForce GTX 950] bus-ID: 01:00.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: nvidia (unloaded: fbdev,vesa,nouveau)
           Resolution: 1920x1200@59.95hz
           GLX Renderer: GeForce GTX 950/PCIe/SSE2
           GLX Version: 4.5.0 NVIDIA 384.90 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card-1 Intel Device a2f0 driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1f.3
           Card-2 NVIDIA Device 0fba driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 01:00.1
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.4.0-109-generic
Network:   Card: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: r8168 v: 8.041.00-NAPI port: d000 bus-ID: 03:00.0
           IF: eth1 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 1140.2GB (18.1% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD6400AAKS size: 640.1GB
           ID-2: /dev/sdb model: TOSHIBA_DT01ACA0 size: 500.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 296G used: 187G (67%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdb1
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 6.44GB used: 0.02GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sdb5
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 29.8C mobo: 27.8C gpu: 0.0:45C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 268 Uptime: 15:17 Memory: 4357.3/7942.7MB
           Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 5.4.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.481) inxi: 2.2.35

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Pjotr
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Re: Linux Kernel 4.4.0.112 - To update or not to update?

Post by Pjotr » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:40 pm

Just installed the bugger, and it runs fine. :mrgreen:

Note that there's currently a lot of unrest at the kernel front, because of Meltdown/Spectre. That'll last for a while, I think... So for the foreseeable future, frequent kernel updates can be expected.

Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux and the chief of the kernel team, is mildly annoyed:
https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/1/21/192
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Re: Linux Kernel 4.4.0.112 - To update or not to update?

Post by karlchen » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:09 pm

On the latest kernel update 4.4.0-112:
Pjotr wrote:Just installed the bugger, and it runs fine.
Hm, how can you tell after such a short time? Some problems might occur only after a longer uptime or under heavy load.
Installing, rebooting, machine comes up, does not mean the new kernel is well behaved. It may just not be totally borked.
The shorter the intervals between new kernel releases, the less time has been spent on testing them, the lower my optimism that they might not introduce new bugs which affect my systems as well.
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Re: Linux Kernel 4.4.0.112 - To update or not to update?

Post by littlehuman » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:31 pm

Just to share, what I can report is that after having upgraded to 4.4.0-109 a few days ago, "only" CVE-2017-5754 [rogue data cache load] aka '[b]Meltdown[/b]' aka '[b]Variant 3[/b]' was fixed on my system. Now that I've upgraded to 4.4.0-112, CVE-2017-5753 [bounds check bypass] aka '[b]Spectre Variant 1[/b]' is now fixed too. I'm not sure if this is due to kernel upgrade or today's intel microcode update or both.

CVE-2017-5715 [branch target injection] aka '[b]Spectre Variant 2[/b]' remains half mitigated.

(checks done with the now famous https://github.com/speed47/spectre-meltdown-checker )
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Pjotr
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Re: Linux Kernel 4.4.0.112 - To update or not to update?

Post by Pjotr » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:33 am

karlchen wrote:On the latest kernel update 4.4.0-112:
Pjotr wrote:Just installed the bugger, and it runs fine.
Hm, how can you tell after such a short time? Some problems might occur only after a longer uptime or under heavy load.
Installing, rebooting, machine comes up, does not mean the new kernel is well behaved. It may just not be totally borked.
The shorter the intervals between new kernel releases, the less time has been spent on testing them, the lower my optimism that they might not introduce new bugs which affect my systems as well.
Yes and no. Or, as the Germans say: jein. :mrgreen:

Yes, obviously my remark only reflected a very short period of usage (about an hour). No, a short interval between this and the previous kernel doesn't imply a higher risk of low quality. In fact, it usually indicates defective quality of the previous kernel....

Note that the usual "best practice" of waiting a while with kernel updates (or even postponing them indefinitely), may not be wise anymore in the light of the current Meltdown/Spectre disaster.

In other words: these are probably times in which it's sensible to take some more risks with kernel updates than usual. Make sure you know how to boot from a previous kernel in case of mishaps, and you should be fine.
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Re: Linux Kernel 4.4.0.112 - To update or not to update?

Post by karlchen » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:55 am

Pjotr wrote:No, a short interval between this and the previous kernel doesn't imply a higher risk of low quality. In fact, it usually indicates defective quality of the previous kernel....
Hm, Pjotr, you have a tendency of looking at the world only from one perspective only at times.
That previous kernel K4.4.0-109 itself had brought some bugfixes only a few days after the release of kernel K4.4.0-108, the one before the previous one. So why should we not assume that in a few days kernel K4.4.0-112 will be yet another previous kernel, superseded by K4.4.0-115 e.g.?
No matter how nicely you try to phrase around it:
Software development done in a hurry is more likely to introduce new bugs than software development done without hurry.
This applies, too, in situations where the problems which you are trying to solve seem to be extremely urgent.
So the short intervals between kernels releases at present does not primarily give a hint at how good the kernel developers are are at bugfixing; rather they underline that kernel developers in a hurry commit more mistakes and have to bugfix more frequently. Rapidly so, of course. A truely vicious circle. :shock:
--
Just to avoid misunderstandings:

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$ uname -a
Linux computer 4.4.0-112-generic #135-Ubuntu SMP Fri Jan 19 11:48:36 UTC 2018 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
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JohnFrumm
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Re: Linux Kernel 4.4.0.112 - To update or not to update?

Post by JohnFrumm » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:36 pm

Pjotr wrote:Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux and the chief of the kernel team, is mildly annoyed:
https://lkml.org/lkml/2018/1/21/192
@Pjotr: The technical aspects of that email are beyond my comprehension, but the gist is not. When I read it I was not sure whether to laugh or cry.

"And that's actually ignoring the much _worse_ issue, namely that the whole hardware interface is literally mis-designed by morons."

(I disagree with that statement, it was properly mis-designed, hence the problem.)

"we need something better than this garbage."

Intel's response really made me angry. Initially they said, "no biggie, just patch some stuff" and later, "great job guys, good to see everyone come together to patch our sh*t! Kumbaya!"

Too many times in my career I have been at the receiving end of bad designs and have been stuck for weeks or months in Timbuktu fixing other people's screw-ups while they shrugged their shoulders and walked away. There's no accountability.

In case anyone was concerned about the Intel CEO potentially losing money when Intel stock initially dropped you can be comforted by the fact that the Intel CEO sold almost $40,000,000 worth of shares before meltdown became widely publicized. I am sure it was only coincidental, probably needed some money for Christmas shopping.

BTW, Pjotr, really like the 10 fatal mistakes (wish I had read that much earlier!)
Have you backed up your computer recently?

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