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Kernel questions
#1
Greetings,

My name is Brent and I am new to this forum. I am not new to Linux but what I am is a user that does not particularly care what is under the hood, I just want to get in, drive and enjoy. I just recently upgraded from Mint 19.3 to Mint 20 Cinnamon without issues. But, then I came across Joe’s video’s and one in particular, “Cleaning up” or something like that. I remember Joe commenting somewhere that Mint does not upgrade the kernel. Wait, What? Is this still true???

I distinctly remember many kernel downloads in 19.3. So those files were just wasting space? Time to look under the hood a little more. I am currently running 5.4.0.47.51 generic. So on a whim, I researched and installed Ukuu and to my surprise, there are dozens of kernels out there. WOW. 

So, correct me if I am wrong:
1. A generic kernel is a stable LTS that seldom gets updated?
2. A mainlain kernel may or may not be stable but is constantly being updated?

So, I guess my biggest question is, do I leave kernel upgrades to Mint, just checking occasionally that the latest stable LTS is installed?

BTW, very much enjoy Joe’s video’s, very much enjoy Mint. Tried others, came back to Mint. My home Windows desktop is delegated to a gaming platform now. Still have to use Windows at work though.

Thanks.
Brent
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#2
I think you have misunderstood. The mainline kernels are, and always have been, stable and regularly updated. It is the Ukuu kernels that are not. Unless you have specific need for a Ukuu kernel for a special purpose you are advised to let Mint take of updating them.
Cliff Coggin
Mint 19.2 Cinnamon
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#3
(09-12-2020, 06:44 PM)brentp727 Wrote: So, I guess my biggest question is, do I leave kernel upgrades to Mint, [...]

YMMV, but generally yes.

In my experience you only need to care about your kernel if you either:
  • Have hardware or software that is currently not working correctly which may be fixed with a later kernel version.
  • Are excited about new features in the new kernel versions.
  • Found out that the current kernel broke something, in which case you may want to revert to the previous one.

For reference, I am an advanced user and I do not care about kernel versions and neither should most other users.


Though the way Mint works with kernels is a bit cumbersome in my opinion. The distribution I use has two kernel packages, one for the mainline kernel and one for the LTS kernel, both get regularly updated as soon as a new one is released. So for me kernels get installed and removed automatically.
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#4
(09-12-2020, 09:07 PM)cliffcoggin Wrote: I think you have misunderstood. The mainline kernels are, and always have been, stable and regularly updated. It is the Ukuu kernels that are not. Unless you have specific need for a Ukuu kernel for a special purpose you are advised to let Mint take of updating them.
Thank you for the advise and you are correct.  I misunderstood Joe's video.  Going forward, will just monitor the kernel.
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#5
The only thing you routinely need to do with kernels is to delete old superceded ones that waste space. Opinions on how many to keep vary from one to several. It is easily done from the Update Manager. One of Joe's videos covers the matter.
Cliff Coggin
Mint 19.2 Cinnamon
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