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Which version of the Kernel do I have?

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darth.severus
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Which version of the Kernel do I have?

#1 Post by darth.severus » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:55 am

$ uname -a
Linux namedeleted 3.14-0.bpo.2-686-pae #1 SMP Debian 3.14.15-2~bpo70+1 (2014-08-21) i686 GNU/Linux
I would suppose this means I have 3.14.15? Why can't I find this version here:
https://www.cvedetails.com/version-list ... ernel.html

When should I upgrade? How do I know when I should upgrade? How knows a less interested user?

EDIT: I did some research on my own. I was a bit irritated by the cvedetails website. Now I think the security issues listed there are being patched, without installing a new kernel. I'm still not sure why these old kernel versions are being used, but I downloaded some Dokus from Youtube on the Kernel to learn about that.
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BitJam
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Re: Which version of the Kernel do I have?

#2 Post by BitJam » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:32 am

darth.severus wrote:
$ uname -a
Linux namedeleted 3.14-0.bpo.2-686-pae #1 SMP Debian 3.14.15-2~bpo70+1 (2014-08-21) i686 GNU/Linux
I would suppose this means I have 3.14.15?
Your kernel version is 3.14-0.bpo.2-686-pae. I suggest you use "uname -r" to get just the real kernel version and no other output. For example, if you look in the /lib/modules/ directory , you should see a directory named "3.14-0.bpo.2-686-pae". That directory holds all of the loadable modules for your kernel.

Confusing technicality: technically "3.14-0.bpo.2-686-pae"is the "release" name and "#1 SMP Debian 3.14.15-2~bpo70+1 (2014-08-21)" is the "version" name (at least according to the uname command) but people generally use the release name when they talk about the kernel version. You should too.
Why can't I find this version here:
https://www.cvedetails.com/version-list ... ernel.html
It is there. It is the uppermost version "3.14" on the second page. The "-0" and what follows in your "uname -r" output does not indicate a change in the Linux source so you want the source code version "3.14". I think someone may have goofed with the "version" string when they built your kernel and that is why the confusing "3.14.15-2" shows up in the output of "uname -a". Stick with using "uname -r" to find your kernel version and your life will be easier and less confusing. If you are confused about "uname -r" versus "uname -v" (which *is* very confusing) then take a look in the /lib/modules/ directory.
When should I upgrade? How do I know when I should upgrade?
Generally, you will only need to upgrade if there is a serious security vulnerability or if you have new hardware that doesn't work with your existing kernel. Serious security vulnerabilities are rare but they do happen. They are rare enough that when one is discovered it is big news.
How knows a less interested user?
Since major security vulnerabilities are rare, the most likely tip off that a kernel upgrade is needed is that the current kernel does not work with your new hardware. My guess is that the most likely problem would be not being able to get accelerated graphics to work on a computer that has a recent Intel graphics SoC or chip. Another common problem area is a very recent wifi or network chip. Kernels will generally not have support for hardware that was released after the kernel was released. Even if the hardware is released first, there is some time lag (months?) before support for the new hardware gets added to the kernel.

Occasionally new software may require a feature that is only available in a more recent kernel but this doesn't happen often unless you use older kernels. As long as you update your system every few years and you don't try to run on the latest and greatest hardware then as a normal desktop user you should generally not have to worry about the kernel version.
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Jerry3904
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Re: Which version of the Kernel do I have?

#3 Post by Jerry3904 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:56 am

You might want to read the Kernel section (7.6) of the Users Manual, where most general questions like this are treated.
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Re: Which version of the Kernel do I have?

#4 Post by darth.severus » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:10 am

Thanks for the help. Now is it so that the security issues listed on this cvedetails site are being patched, without installing a new kernel?

I'm currently checking out this website, which may also be interesting for others: http://kernelnewbies.org. I'm going through the list of new features in new kernels here, looking if I need something I would like to have.

@Jerry3904
Thanks for trying to help, but there is nothing about what I asked. My questions here are going beyond that, and the output of uname was not very clear.
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Re: Which version of the Kernel do I have?

#5 Post by Stevo » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:41 pm

Our test repository currently has 4.3 Liquorix kernel packages, if you need an upgrade.

Don't install from the Liquorix repository, since their header packages are no longer installable on Wheezy or Jessie-based distros.

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Re: Which version of the Kernel do I have?

#6 Post by Jerry3904 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:59 pm

@Jerry3904
Thanks for trying to help, but there is nothing about what I asked. My questions here are going beyond that, and the output of uname was not very clear.
Maybe not, but then you would have used the correct uname -r (as BitJam said) and you would have had guidelines about knowing when to upgrade.

BTW: do you in fact have Mepis installed, or is this thread in the wrong place?
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Re: Which version of the Kernel do I have?

#7 Post by darth.severus » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:15 pm

Jerry3904 wrote:
@Jerry3904
BTW: do you in fact have Mepis installed, or is this thread in the wrong place?
MX 14, I posted here cause it's titled as newbies section.
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Re: Which version of the Kernel do I have?

#8 Post by Jerry3904 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:22 pm

Yup, Mepis newbies. Not a problem, I moved the thread.
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Re: Which version of the Kernel do I have?

#9 Post by asqwerth » Thu Dec 31, 2015 1:37 am

Just checking: will there be a conflict if I install the 4.2.3 liquorix kernel when I'm already on the 4.2.0 backported kernel?

Can the two 4.2 kernels and their headers co-exist so that I can choose which to boot into from the grub menu?

On MX14, I installed liquorix 3.19 and and got rid of the 3.12 bpo kernel that came as default with MX. I did not install kernels from different sources carrying the "same" series number.
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Re: Which version of the Kernel do I have?

#10 Post by Jerry3904 » Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:48 am

I did that with MX-14.4 and never had a problem. The choice of kernels is on a separate screen reached by clicking on the Advanced options (wording?) link on the GRUB screen.
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