Confused about Update Manager levels 4&5, security updates and Kernels

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Piers66
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Confused about Update Manager levels 4&5, security updates and Kernels

Post by Piers66 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:03 am

Hello,

After being recommended to update my kernel in a discussion about my PC running slow, and having read the Spectre & Meltdown thread (all of it!), I've now got the following kernels installed:

3.19.0-32 - The one I've been on for the last two years
4.4.0-133 - Recommended latest
3.13.0-156 - Backup in case issues occur with 4.4

I've just re-booted and am now running on 4.4.0-133

When I run Update Manager I get the following:
Uodate Manager.png
Do I still need to run the 4.4.0-lts1 Linux Kernel update, having already (AFAIK) installed the latest one via the Linux Kernels tab, and why does it show the old version as 3.19.0-32? Will it realise during installation that I've got the latest after all?

Up until now I've routinely only installed level 1, 2 & 3 updates, as I understood that levels 4 & 5 can be risky. How does this relate to the four currently showing being labelled as Security Updates? Should I just automatically install all of them? Are there some I shouldn't, or don't need (e.g. Linux Kernel Headers for development)?

Thanks,

Piers.

Piers66
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Re: Confused about Update Manager levels 4&5, security updates and Kernels

Post by Piers66 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:08 am

Forgot to say:

PC: Dell Latitude-E6410 with 2GB RAM
Kernel: 4.4.0-133-generic i686 (32 bit)
Desktop: Cinnamon 2.8.8
Distro: Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa

gm10
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Re: Confused about Update Manager levels 4&5, security updates and Kernels

Post by gm10 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:22 am

Which spectre & meltdown thread did you read? This is explained in the first post even: viewtopic.php?t=261343 ;)

tl;dr: yes, install it

Piers66
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Re: Confused about Update Manager levels 4&5, security updates and Kernels

Post by Piers66 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:03 am

Hello,

Thanks for the quick reply.

Yes, that was the thread. Frankly, by the time I'd read all 11 pages I was a bit punch drunk, and hadn't remembered the instruction on page 1 to do all security updates. Also, another user asked what the difference was between running the update and manually installing a kernel and didn't get an answer.

I'll run the updates, but I've still got a few questions:
  • As a general rule does being a Security Update trump being Level 5? That is, should I not worry about later updates having compatibility issues?
  • Do the words "for development" mean something other than "for use by developers" (which is what I imagined at first sight). That is, are they a required part of the system even though I'm a home user who doesn't programme anything more complicated than a bit of html?
  • Do I need to run all four updates?
  • Does "4.4.0-lts1" automatically go for the latest 4.4 kernel, or do you get situations where an earlier one is technically the LTS version?
  • What does "tl;dr:" mean?
Piers.

gm10
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Re: Confused about Update Manager levels 4&5, security updates and Kernels

Post by gm10 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:26 am

Piers66 wrote:
Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:03 am
  • As a general rule does being a Security Update trump being Level 5? That is, should I not worry about later updates having compatibility issues?
Updates are meant to fix existing known issues. There's no guarantee that the update won't create a new issue - if the developers of that software were perfect then there'd be no need for updates after all. ;)

In the case of this particular -lts1 update, it's just an update to the meta-packages responsible for the kernel, it's won't cause any problems.
[*]Do the words "for development" mean something other than "for use by developers" (which is what I imagined at first sight). That is, are they a required part of the system even though I'm a home user who doesn't programme anything more complicated than a bit of html?
They are used to recompile the kernel itself or individual kernel modules (drivers). You may need them for the latter case. In any case you don't have a choice, they are already installed on your system, anyway, the question is just whether you update them. I say yes, absolutely. I don't know why these have security level 5, as far as I am concerned these should be level 1. There is no risk involved with installing them (they are just a bunch of text files that don't conflict with anything).
[*]Do I need to run all four updates?
You don't strictly need to run any of them. You can check the Changelog tab to see if any of the changes even affect you.
[*]Does "4.4.0-lts1" automatically go for the latest 4.4 kernel, or do you get situations where an earlier one is technically the LTS version?
Latest. The only reason that kernel still receives updates at all is because it is the LTS kernel.
[*]What does "tl;dr:" mean?[/list]
heh, sorry, that's Internet speak for a summary for those not inclined to read the whole thing. Stands for "too long; didn't read", sometimes paraphrased as "too lazy; didn't read".

Piers66
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Re: Confused about Update Manager levels 4&5, security updates and Kernels

Post by Piers66 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:49 am

Hello,

OK, updates installed.

I tried looking at the changelogs, but to be honest couldn't work out the significance or not for me. Maybe it'll be more obvious with other, non security package updates in future. I'll study the logs from now and hopefully they'll make more sense!

Thanks for the help,

Piers.

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