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when to upgrade to newer kernel

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#1 snglnluvnit


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Posted 11 April 2017 - 08:44 PM

What factors dictate when to upgrade to a newer kernel.

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#2 Gary R

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 12:34 AM

Primarily, whether you update to a newer kernel or not, will be determined by whether .....


  1. Your old kernel is still supported or not.
  2. The new kernel has some function or facility that you need.
  3. The old kernel is insecure, and needs updating to patch some vulnerability that was not known about when it was released.
  4. The new kernel is compatible with the application software and/or hardware that you are running.

..... there are probably other reasons, but these are the ones that I generally consider before I make a move to update or not.

#3 rufwoof


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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:27 PM

All my hardware works with the Kernel I'm currently using, as provided in Debian Jessie (stable). Along with the patches that they've provided for that. I'll upgrade to Stretch (next release) either when new kit (I use hand-me-downs) depicts or when Jessie no longer receives security updates (hopefully by then Stretch will have been extensively tested/fixed/documented (i.e. a year or more into having been released). You end up using older versions of programs that way ... but extensively tried and tested/fixed ... that mostly meets my needs (browse, office, kodi, skype, video editing ...etc). For some (Kodi for example for listening to foreign radio stations) ... Debian backports usually meet my needs. For more spicier (less stable), I run them in VirtualBox (for instance trying out Mint ...etc.)

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#4 MadmanRB



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Posted 18 April 2017 - 08:23 PM

I also agree with the notion that the kernel you are running is probably good and only update if there is say a security patch of some kind.

Of coruse this depends on your distro too, if running on something based on Ubuntu its advised to run the kernel you are comfortable with.

Distros such as Mint while based on Ubuntu may only offer kernel upgrades if it is a security update.

Debian based systems should follow this practice as well.

Other distros well if running arch linux its meant to always grab a new kernel when one becomes available.

It all goes down to one question however:

What version or flavor of Linux are you running?

Edited by MadmanRB, 18 April 2017 - 08:24 PM.

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#5 The-Toolman


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Posted 19 April 2017 - 12:04 AM

I generally keep the kernel for Linux Mint 18 all of the same series in the case of 4.4.0-XX and will only upgrade to a different kernel series once it has been out and running for a little while.

Seems to be the preferred way from what I have read.


In Lubuntu 16.04 I generally upgrade the kernels as they are released and have never had any problems.


It pays to use caution when upgrading kernels though.

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