kernel features question

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lurkatron
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kernel features question

Post by lurkatron » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:58 am

just wondering, in terms of hardware support, will and older kernel such as the one used in mint get new support backported so that the same hardware is equally supported in the mint kernel in say one year as in the brand new kernel (say version 4.19) will have in july 2019?

i presume security fixes such as spectre etc get implemented in the older kernel

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xenopeek
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Re: kernel features question

Post by xenopeek » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:13 am

No, older kernel releases only get security updates during their support period. However, Linux Mint using the Ubuntu HWE kernels so you periodically get a new kernel release for enablement of newer hardware.
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smurphos
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Re: kernel features question

Post by smurphos » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:17 am

The 4.15 kernel series will get security updates and bug-fixes through to 2023.

Future 19.x releases (probably not 19.1, but 19.2 and 19.3) will likely ship with newer kernel series following Ubuntu's schedule of providing Hardware enablement (HWE) kernels. That is so that in say 18 months time someone with cutting edge hardware which may not be supported under kernel 4.15 and can't install Mint 19 should be able to install Mint 19.2 or 19.3 with kernel 4.19 or 5.1 or whatever it may be.

As these HWE become available Mint 19 users who are adventurous souls will be able to manually move up to the new kernel series should they wish to. It would rarely be necessary though unless their hardware was poorly supported under 4.15. Similarly, Mint 19.2 or 19.3 users can downgrade to 4.15 if they so wish and their hardware is supported.

See https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/Support - specifically the 18.04 Kernel Support schedule and the 16.04 one to see how it worked for Mint 18.x

Hoser Rob
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Re: kernel features question

Post by Hoser Rob » Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:43 am

lurkatron wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:58 am
just wondering, in terms of hardware support, will and older kernel such as the one used in mint get new support backported so that the same hardware is equally supported in the mint kernel in say one year as in the brand new kernel (say version 4.19) will have in july 2019?...
No, there's no guarantee that a specific hardware peripheral won't break in a future kernel, and that's more likely to happen with older hardware. Many threads here and on other Linux forums attest to this.

Fortunately kernel updates that break things are pretty easy to fix unless you deleted the old kernel. You shouldn't do a kernel update until you know how to revert to the old one at CLI level.

The other high level updates are NOT so easy to revert.

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