Kernel Linux updating

Mylene Josserand Mylene.Josserand at
Fri Jun 28 05:50:08 EDT 2013

Thanks for the advices.

Yes, I agree with you about keeping kernel updates is better. But I am 
new to my company and they did not update the kernel so they are "stuck" 
with the old 2.6.32 kernel.

So, here I am ! Asking questions to know how it would be the nice way to 
update it :)


Le 28/06/2013 11:36, Alexandru Juncu a écrit :
> Though the kernel is the heart of the operating system, it's not the
> only thing that makes the things go. Putting in a new kernel, isn't
> necessarily the answer to all the problems of a system.
> Because the userspace utilities are just as important, and you need to
> keep them too up to date. Because some versions of a (core) program
> might use things that were supported in a version, but not anymore
> (this shouldn't happen in a perfect world, but since we're living in
> real life, this could happen).
> As a best practice, I find that you should update your system
> regularly. Updating from version 1 to 2, then to 3 after a couple of
> months, then to 4 when that is release usually goes a lot smoother
> than going from 1 to 4. Reinstalling the entire distribution would be
> a better option, but not always possible in production.
> You could just try each version (starting with the LTS ones) until you
> find one that works for you.
> On 28 June 2013 12:23, Mylene Josserand<Mylene.Josserand at>  wrote:
>> okay ! Thank you for the explanation, Alexandru.
>> I see it more clearly :)
>> What I really want ? Hum, it is for a production purpose.
>> We already use a kernel but it a version.
>> We have some problems and we thought to update it. I had updated it to a
>> 3.8 kernel but, of what you say, I should have updated it to a longterm
>> version. Which one should I use ?
>> In the links you gave me, I see that the 2.6.32 will become EOL in 2014
>> and 2.6.34 and 3.0 in 2013. The 3.2 will become an EOL in 2016. Should I
>> update to this one ?
>> And we encountered some problems (about CAN controller to be precise).
>> In the CAN mailist, Luka Rahne has the same problem has ours with the
>> 3.0.3 kernel. He tested the 3.0.81 and the problem seems to be gone. So,
>> also, I wanted to know if the possibly fix between 3.0.3 and 3.0.81
>> would have been spreaded to other kernels ? other long term ? stable ?
>> Thank you again !
>> Mylène
>> Le 28/06/2013 10:51, Alexandru Juncu a écrit :
>>> On 28 June 2013 11:37, Mylene Josserand<Mylene.Josserand at>   wrote:
>>>> Hi everyone,
>>>> I would like to know how the Linux Kernel are updated.
>>>> I know that there is the long term kernels, the last stables and the
>>>> mainline.
>>>> First, what is the real difference between stable and longterm ?
>>>> I see in the Linux Kernel website that the date of the long term (and
>>>> the revision number) is changing so I was thinking that there are some
>>>> updates on it, right ?
>>>> For example, when an important bug has been fixed, is it fixed in the
>>>> new release kernel only ? Or is it applied on old kernels ? Only the
>>>> long term ? All ?
>>>> So if I am using the long term 3.4.49 for example (and the current is
>>>> 3.4.51), I can just update the 3.4.49 to get the important bugs fix that
>>>> have been fixed in the new release (so 3.9.8 right now ?).
>>>> And if you have some documentation about it, it would be nice !
>>>> Thank you in advance !
>>> Hello!
>>> [0] is your friend. There is a page explaining the release types [1].
>>> In short, Malnline is the newest but somewhat unstable. It's where
>>> everything is tested with new features. It compiles, but it not real
>>> world tested.
>>> When a version is battle tested and does good without doing bad in the
>>> real world, it's called stable.
>>> The long term versions are ones that are considered milestones. Those
>>> kernels could be used in production for many years because they will
>>> be patched with security updates, but nothing major will change in
>>> their architecture, so the administrator won't have to worry that if
>>> he applies a patch it will break the production server.
>>> Hopefully I'm not offending anyone with this comparison, but think
>>> about it as the Ubuntu versions, if you are familiar with them. You
>>> have a new release every 6 months, that has new features, That's
>>> stable. Like 13.04. But once every two years they have a long term
>>> support version (like 10.04, 12.04, 14.04) that you can rely on for
>>> many years. They will be patched for vulnerabilities (ex. 12.04.1
>>> probably has secutiy patches like 12.10, but won't have it's new
>>> features).
>>> So now it's a matter of what you want? Do you want to use it in
>>> production? Maybe you would want a tong term version.  Want to use it
>>> for your own use? Probably you want the stable. Want to develop new
>>> features? You might go for the mainline.
>>> Hope it helps.
>>> [0]
>>> [1]

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