About new kernels not supporting old hardware

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Schultz
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About new kernels not supporting old hardware

Post by Schultz » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:01 pm

I got to thinking about this yesterday. Occasionally you see here in the forums about how sometimes a kernel update doesn't work in someone's computer, due to it being an older machine. My computer is going on being 5 years old. What I'm wondering about is at what stage does one have to start being concerned about new kernels no longer working. I'm assuming there is no hard and fast rule on this due to the many different systems (motherboards?) out there.

gm10
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Re: About new kernels not supporting old hardware

Post by gm10 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:23 pm

It's not a time-based thing. Sometimes support for certain hardware (features), architectures, etc. is dropped for lack of maintainers, nobody using it, etc. Running mainstream hardware you likely won't have to worry about it during the lifetime of said hardware.

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Schultz
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Re: About new kernels not supporting old hardware

Post by Schultz » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:45 pm

gm10 wrote:
Running mainstream hardware you likely won't have to worry about it during the lifetime of said hardware.
I'm guessing my hardware is pretty mainstream?

Code: Select all

Machine:   Device: desktop System: ASUS product: All Series
           Mobo: ASUSTeK model: H81M-C v: Rev X.0x
           BIOS: American Megatrends v: 0804 date: 05/16/2014
CPU:       Dual core Intel Pentium G3220 (-MCP-) cache: 3072 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 11971
           clock speeds: max: 3000 MHz 1: 888 MHz 2: 1019 MHz

gm10
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Re: About new kernels not supporting old hardware

Post by gm10 » Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:00 pm

Not that, it's usually wifi controllers, usb devices, that sort of thing that causes trouble. Nvidia isn't supporting old cards anymore, etc.

Hoser Rob
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Re: About new kernels not supporting old hardware

Post by Hoser Rob » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:42 am

Lately it's more than occasional, support for old hardware is being cut at kernel level like mad lately. It certainly affects Mint 19. How old a computer should you worry about? Hard to say exactly but I'd guess 8 years.

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Re: About new kernels not supporting old hardware

Post by rambo919 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:41 am

That's just what happens when you attempt monolithic driver support, the mainstream stays and third party falls away over time.... a giant weak side to linux which is partially fixed with sideloading some drivers but there is no proper "institutional" way of doing this yet. Similar to old hardware needing eol versions of windows old hardware needs old kernels.... you have unavoidable tradeoffs.

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Re: About new kernels not supporting old hardware

Post by mediclaser » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:52 pm

I happen to use (by coincidence) Linux-friendly brand laptops, so my old computers (including the one bought in 2007) still work. :)
Having a Linux operating system is just like driving a car -- you learn something new everyday.

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