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Re: Which kernel series to use in the installer and for installed system

From: Efraim Flashner
Subject: Re: Which kernel series to use in the installer and for installed systems?
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2021 10:33:18 +0300

On Thu, May 27, 2021 at 04:02:46PM -0400, Mark H Weaver wrote:
> Hi,
> Vagrant Cascadian <> writes:
> > Would it be too complicated to include both the latest LTS kernel and
> > the most recently packaged kernel in the installer, and default to using
> > the same kernel for the installation?
> Sounds good to me.  More specifically, I would suggest offering the user
> a choice between using the latest stable kernel, or using the latest
> kernel from the most recent LTS series at the time of installation.
> If the user chooses the latter option, the installer would produce an OS
> configuration containing "(kernel linux-libre-X.YY)", where X.YY is
> latest LTS series at installation time.
> The idea is that if they choose the LTS kernel option today,
> 'linux-libre-5.10' would be put into their OS config, so they would stay
> on the 5.10 kernel series until they explicitly update to a later
> series.  This is a good choice for production systems where stability is
> more important than running the latest code, and even for ordinary users
> who wish to have control over when major kernel updates are done.
> I would recommend avoiding the 'linux-libre-lts' variable, because it
> fails to provide the primary benefit that LTS kernels are meant to
> provide: the ability to postpone potentially disruptive major kernel
> upgrades until a time of the user's choosing, when the user is prepared
> for possible breakage.  Users who put 'linux-libre-lts' in their OS
> configurations should expect that a major kernel upgrade will happen
> several years before it is needed, and could happen unexpectedly any
> time they upgrade their system.  Unless they carefully inspect the
> 'guix' command output _every_ time they upgrade their system, users of
> the 'linux-libre-lts' variable are unlikely to notice a major kernel
> upgrade until it has already been done.
> Thoughts?
>      Thanks,
>        Mark

IIRC the Debian installer offers linux, linux-major.minor and
linux-major.minor.point in the installer. I don't really understand why
and how a newer kernel would make things stop working, but I could see
offering linux-libre, linux-libre-lts and linux-libre-5.10 (using the
1.3.0 release as the example).

Efraim Flashner   <>   אפרים פלשנר
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