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Linux 5.0 kernel released, but do you really need to upgrade?

Linus Torvalds launched on March 3 this year (2019) another version of Linux kernel, coming in number 5.0 and thus bringing some bug fixes, improvements and punctual optimizations in the Kernel code, as well as better compatibility with some devices and bringing the Freesync AMD embedded in the Kernel.

With the release of the Linux 5.0 Kernel, came some news that were already being prepared and that have now reached its mainline of it. Some news brought were:

Support for AMD Radeon FreeSync;

Support for the new VegaM;

NVIDIA Xavier Support

Intel Icelake Gen11 Graphics Enhancement

Initial support for NXP i.MX8 SoCs;

Support for Allwinner T3, Qualcomm QCS404, and NXP Layerscape LX2160A;

Intel VT-d Scalable Mode with support for Scalable I / O Virtualization;

New Intel Stratix 10 FPGA Drivers;

Correes for F2FS, EXT4 and XFS;

Btrfs file-system with swap file restore support;

Google's AgFscrypt Adiantum is now supported with help for fast data encryption on low end hardware. This replaces the Speck algorithm with the NSA;

Realtek R8169 driver enhancements;

High resolution support for Logitech scrolling;

Raspberry Pi touchscreen driver;

Improved x86 architecture laptop drivers;

Security Enhancement for Thunderbolt;

Support for the Chameleon96 Intel FPGA Card;

Better power management;

In the statement, Linus Torvalds said he is happy with the release and that the next development window is open for version 5.1, and that there are already several requests coming in to parse and process. But what caught the eye was that statement at the end of the statement on the project mailing list, which reads as follows:

The overall changes for all versions of 5.0 are much larger. But I'd like to point out (again) that we don't do feature-based releases, and that "5.0" means nothing more than that. The numbers for the 4.x series were getting big enough that I had no fingers on my hand and feet to count..

If you want to see a more complete technical compilation, the folks at Phoronix have done this hard work. Now if you would like to see the mailing list where Linus Torvalds made the announcement, you can check this link.

You ask me: Should I upgrade my system kernel ?, and then I answer: It depends my dear Padwan, it depends., And I will try to explain why it depends. Based on one of the maintainers and member of the Linux Foundation, Greg Kroah-Hartman.

I will give a brief description of each version of the kernel that are released and so take some questions that always appear here on the blog, YouTube channel and Diolinux Plus.

Mainline kernel version

This version is what we just said came out of the oven, which you can install in your district. But be careful, as this version does not have the distro fixes, enhancements, and patches you use, and system instability may occur. It is recommended for enthusiasts or anyone who wants to try new features or hyper new hardware compatibility. If you are one of these, we made an article on how to make the switch using the Ubuntu Kernel Update Utility (UKUU) program. We also have an article on how to install the .deb packages, in the case of Ubuntu, and to access its mainline, just access this link.

Latest stable release (Stable)

When the kernel is released as Stable, it means the latest in which the developer community declares as such. This happens every 3 (three) months, in which a stable release is released, containing the latest bug fixes and support for the latest hardware. This version is commonly used in most major distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE and others. In addition to being tested by the 4,000 project developers.

LTS release (Long-term support)

If you have hardware that needs implementations that do not come directly from the Linux Kernel mainline, such as IoT devices, the latest released version of the LTS Kernel is a good choice. LTS, which means Long-term support, contains the latest bug fixes in the kernel, but it has no new features added, no support for new hardware deployed, nor do they get the latest performance improvements. Kernel This type of new LTS Kernel is used by users who like not to worry about the constant upgrades of the Stables versions, which occur every 3 months, as new LTS versions are updated at least once a year. Also according to Greg, who chooses this type of kernel, must be well aware that the support can be difficult on the part of devs, as they use the Stable version as a basis. And if you reported a problem / bug, should you ask the latest stable version have this problem? So you have to be that notion.

Older LTS Versions

This version of the kernel has a support of at least 2 years, however sometimes it can be extended because of larger distributions Linux has greater support, such as Debian or SLES.

Companies like Google, which are part of Linaro, have invested to make these kernels last longer, in a nutshell, SoC chips are developed from Kernels with over 2 years of support and eventually over 2 million lines. added over time to keep them running safely. If these LTS are disrupted after 2 years, community support will also cease and as a result no more corrections will be made, causing millions of devices to be unsafe and fluctuating, and companies will not want it for themselves. to your customers, obviously.

And at the time of this publication, the kernel versions are:

Just to illustrate further, my Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie uses Kernel 3.18.71 with Asus-maintained and maintained patches, now imagine if this ends overnight, it would be quite complicated.

So when you are changing the kernel in your distro, think carefully before you switch left and right, as it may be that the problem you are experiencing is not the kernel but a bad driver installation. of video, a program or the simple curiosity of fiddling with Linux.

Hope to see you next post, big hug.

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