Kernel should be upgraded?

Short answer: no

Many times I have heard about people wanting to upgrade the kernel (why?)

I have always said that upgrading the kernel is not a good idea, unless you have a missing (non-working) hardware device

Why:

A kernel is a very delicated and sophisticated part of the system, if the system works for you, don't touch it, because a kernel upgrade includes many changes in the ecosystem, possible new bugs, etc...

Note: By other side it is a good idea to update the kernel, this means, updates from the same version

Examples:

Your possible case:

  • In our recent beta versions like 3.7.16 with kernel 5.2, if you apug, kernel will be upgraded to 5.3, but this kernel is buggy, as:
    • sometimes there's applications that hangs, terminology cannot be run anymore
    • requires a new version of ndiswrapper in order to build this module, but there's not available yet, so if you use it, you will lose this driver (and so the Live mode will not include ndiswrapper)

Also, if you have multiple kernel versions in your system, your /boot partition (if you have) may get full fast, making your system probably unbootable and your apt packages broken (unable to finish to install them)

How to solve it: make sure that you don't remove the other kernel, but instead, try to remove the kernel 5.3 related packages (at least linux-image...something-5.3...)

Live builds case:

The new ISOs cannot be built right now, because the upgraded 5.3 kernel is not so stable, it cannot be a good candidate for an elive release (so bad, i wanted to update a build and I will need to wait), so is needed to wait for an updated version of 5.3 with hopefully the issue solved, the kernel 5.2 is not available anymore from its original repos

Improvements:

I will improve the installer to make sure that it doesn't upgrade to a new kernel version (only allow updates of the same version) for the installed system, and so no surprises will happen on the elive users (unlike in other linux* systems :slight_smile: )

Am running 5.3.0 on my carbon X1 thinkpad (got it through apug). Haven't noticed any failures yet, luckily.

I do a lot of apug ugprades on my stable computor is this not a bad thing if it can introduce an unstable kernel without warning? maybe kernel updates should be restricted until we are sure of their safety