ELI5 the advantages of updating the kernel

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GrevenGull
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Joined: 12/18/2017

So when I install Trisquel with the generic (4.4.0-112-generic) kernel everything is working dandy.
Could someone ELI5 the potentially advantages of updating the kernel?

Mappack
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Joined: 10/13/2016

Some of your hardware might have better support in a newer kernel. If this one is working fine I wouldn't update it as it could only cause problems you did not have before.

chaosmonk

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Joined: 07/07/2017

The meltdown patch.

GrevenGull
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Joined: 12/18/2017

Explain?

chaosmonk

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Meltdown and Spectre are two recently discovered vulnerabilities that affect many computers.

https://meltdownattack.com

You have a Mac if I recall correctly, so you have an Intel chipset and are affect by both Meltdown and Spectre. Meltdown has been patched in recent versions of the Linux kernel, although unfortunately it will slow down your machine a bit. There is no patch for Spectre at this time, but it can be mitigated.

You can install a more recent kernel from jxself's repo.

https://jxself.org

GrevenGull
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Joined: 12/18/2017

Okay thanks. Which kernel has the meltdown patch?:)

Magic Banana

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I am not sure about the extended-term support (ETS) version. I am certain that all other versions that jxself's repository currently propose have the KPTI patches.

jxself
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Joined: 09/13/2010

ETS does too. The current ETS kernel is 4.4, and KPTI appeared in 4.4.110.

Also, as Canonical ships kernel patches to fix those problems in Ubuntu, Triquel should pick those up too so it shouldn't necessarily be necessary to use one of mine...