Kernel question

gillsman

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I've been using Linux Mint for a while as I got fed up with many aspects of Windows but one thing I can't get my head round is which kernel version I should use, my current active kernel is 5.3.0-40 & it says it is supported until 2020 whereas 4.15.0-88 is supported until 2023 & to confuse things even more 4.0.18-25 is end of life. what confuses me is I would naturally think that 5.3 is newer than 4.18 which in turn is newer than 4.15 but the one that appears to be the latest has it's support ending this year but the prior one goes on until 2023, does this mean sometime this year I will need to switch to an older kernel. In truth I have activated them both (one at a time obviously) & I see no difference in how the system runs, I would just like to have a better grasp of the basics regarding kernel versions so if anyone could explain it to me in simple layman's terms I would be very grateful.My system is Mint (Cinnamon) 19.3 Tricia.
Thank you.
 


Peer

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They are different support kinds of the Linux kernel: there are long term support (lts) kernels, normal kernels, testing kernels, Realtime kernels...

I prefer to always use be latest kernel to have the best funktionality and hardware support.
But this also has it's problems, some weeks ago I updated to the latest kernel version and this kernel just didn't recognize my wifi hardware, there was an update that fixed this, but on the first case that's not so nice.

So, you have to decide on your own, latest or most stable kernel.
 

gillsman

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OK, firstly thank you replying.
I guess as far as I'm concerned then as I'm having no issues with the kernel I'm currently using which happens to be the latest I will just continue to use that .
Thanks again.
 

poorguy

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Based on this article Linux Mint 19.3 is based on a LTS kernel so if that is the case I'd stay with it.


4th paragraph

Beneath the hood, the new Mint is based on Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS and the 4.15.0-72 Linux kernel. MInt 19.3 is also a LTS version. It will be supported until December 2023. The default kernel has already been upgraded to the Linux 5.0.
 

Vrai

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I've been using Linux Mint for a while as I got fed up with many aspects of Windows but one thing I can't get my head round is which kernel version I should use, my current active kernel is 5.3.0-40 & it says it is supported until 2020 whereas 4.15.0-88 is supported until 2023 & to confuse things even more 4.0.18-25 is end of life. what confuses me is I would naturally think that 5.3 is newer than 4.18 which in turn is newer than 4.15 but the one that appears to be the latest has it's support ending this year but the prior one goes on until 2023, does this mean sometime this year I will need to switch to an older kernel. In truth I have activated them both (one at a time obviously) & I see no difference in how the system runs, I would just like to have a better grasp of the basics regarding kernel versions so if anyone could explain it to me in simple layman's terms I would be very grateful.My system is Mint (Cinnamon) 19.3 Tricia.
Thank you.
If all your hardware is working I would suggest just going with the kernel which is shipped with your distro. Linux Mint seems to go with the Long Term Support kernel.
If you are having problems with hardware support (something is not working) then a newer version of the kernel may help.
It is a good practice to keep two or more kernels installed *just-in-case*. Otherwise, if everything is working, there is no need to update to the "newest" kernel.
 

dos2unix

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On the other hand... more than new functionality, generally newer kernels have more
security and bug fixes in them. LTS is a relative term in kernels.
Ubuntu and Redhat have what they call LTS kernels, but that doesn't mean the kernels never get updated. It just means the major versions don't change.

On Redhat 7 for example 3.10 might start off as 3.10.27 and work up to 3.10.489
The kernel is always "3.10" but it still gets updates for the particular version. It just gets security and bug fixes, but no new functionality.

On "short term" linux's, like Fedora for example.. you can get a new kernel two or three times a week.
Fedora 31 started off on 5.3.7 and is currently up to 5.4.19 (5.5.3 if you use rawhide releases).
You get new functionality, but sometimes less reliability. On rare occasions, it happens a new kernel will break something. Because new kernels are released so often... they don't have time to be a rigorously tested as LTS kernels.

So technically 3.10.448 might be newer than 5.4.19.... but that's only for bug fixes and security.
 


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