Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

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Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby MagicPoulp » 2019-04-11 13:47

Please answer to my questions.

On debian stable 9, I have the kernel 4.9.0-8-amd64.

Here are the kernel versions.
https://www.kernel.org/

Why doesn't debian provide the safe bug fixes for the same minor version 4.9?
4.9.168 2019-04-05

https://semver.org/
The last number 168 means "PATCH version when you make backwards-compatible bug fixes."

Why is it risky to upgrade the kernel version to stable 5.0.7? What is most likely to fail?

Here I found several distros running the stable kernel 5. Remember stable is just a naming. Even if not officially, they have a snapshot release with it. ANd arch linux that is constantly rolling (no release), has 5.0.7.
https://distrowatch.com/search.php?pkg= ... #pkgsearch


Why is buster using 4.19 and not a newer kernel? The end of life for that long term kernel is Dec 2020.

It seems to me buster should have a very new kernel before the freeze and the release. If you wait 2 years and update the kernel, then the distribution is not stable any more.

My personal feeling tells me they want to speed up the release by taking an older kernel. But here we were unlucky. They freeze buster in mars, and 1 month later we have a new major kernel release 5. This means even though there is a major kernel version 5, we will have to wait for more than 2 years to have it in a debian distribution.

I don't know the details, but the naming of features looks nice
"improved laptop drivers", "improved power management", etc
https://itsfoss.com/linux-kernel-5/
Last edited by MagicPoulp on 2019-04-11 14:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby fred44nl » 2019-04-11 14:03

if you look at https://tracker.debian.org/pkg/linux, than you will see that kernel 4.9.161-1 has been entered into proposed-updates on 29-03-2019
this usually means that 2 weeks later this version wil go to stable and can be updated as usual.
Debian 9.9 on Compulab Fitlet2
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby MagicPoulp » 2019-04-11 14:10

Thank you for your answer.
I was confused by the debian version 4.9.0-8-amd64, which in fact contains 4.9.144-3

ANd why not speed up to move buster to the kernel 5? before buster is tested and released?

Do I run any risk to update my kernel to 5 on debian stable? OR do I make a franken debian?

here is a better link for the kernel 5 features.l then.
https://phoenixnap.com/kb/linux-kernel-5-0-released
Last edited by MagicPoulp on 2019-04-11 14:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby MagicPoulp » 2019-04-11 14:19

They should delay buster and give us kernel 5 with it.
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby Bulkley » 2019-04-11 14:49

MagicPoulp wrote:They should delay buster and give us kernel 5 with it.


Why? Do you have a problem that only kernel 5 can solve? Or is do you have shiny new stuff syndrome?

By the way, if you want to try newer kernels Liquorix offers Debian kernels tuned up. They are easy to install, easy to remove, great for experimenting.
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby MagicPoulp » 2019-04-11 15:01

If I buy a Turing graphics card, it will work on Windows. But only the Linux kernel 5 supports it.

Besides, I often saw people having driver problems with their laptops with Debian derived distributions. ANd the release notes say: improved drivers for laptop.

The encryption of full disk will be faster with the new kernel 5.

Besides, there is a intel driver feature on CPUs.

I think my comment is very relevant. We should not wait 2.5 years after the kernel 5 release before having it in a debian release.

The AMD free sync sees really nice since it is an open source protocol for monitors. But I don't know all details about it.

The Logitech resolution scrolling may be useful too.
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby MagicPoulp » 2019-04-11 15:06

Concerning Liquorix, I heard bad rumors about ppa based packages.
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-04-11 15:17

Liquorix have a Debian repository as well as a PPA.

Wait a bit after the release and kernel 5.0 should become available via buster-backports, it's not being used for the release because it isn't an LTS version.

EDIT: Debian freezes the kernel to avoid the regressions that come with all the shiny new features.
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2019-04-11 15:39

Debian releases are special. You can't claim a stable distro and keep the versions rolling. Sometimes, you have to freeze the versions in order to fix bugs. Then, after certain amount of time has passed and certain number of release-critical bugs are fixed, new Debian version is released.

Some updated package versions will be available via buster-backports, including the kernel.
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby stevepusser » 2019-04-11 23:25

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Liquorix have a Debian repository as well as a PPA.

Wait a bit after the release and kernel 5.0 should become available via buster-backports, it's not being used for the release because it isn't an LTS version.

EDIT: Debian freezes the kernel to avoid the regressions that come with all the shiny new features.


As well as my backports for Stretch so Nvidia driver installs don't complain about gcc-8.

https://build.opensuse.org/package/show ... quorix-5.0

Code: Select all
uname -a

Linux mx 5.0.0-7.1-liquorix-amd64 #1 ZEN SMP PREEMPT liquorix 5.0-6~mx17+1 (2019-04-06) x86_64 GNU/Linux
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: Foliate 1.5.3, Minitube 3.1, wine-staging 4.12, Virtual Box 5.2.32 & 6.0.10, Pale Moon 28.6.1, Waterfox 56.2.12
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby MagicPoulp » 2019-04-12 08:12

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Wait a bit after the release and kernel 5.0 should become available via buster-backports, it's not being used for the release because it isn't an LTS version.


4.19 is LTS but with a projected end of life Dec, 2020. That is less than 2 years from now. So if buster is released in Dec 2019, it means it has a kernel with only 1 year of life.

https://www.kernel.org/category/releases.html

Since buster is still in testing phase, it would be better to use a newer kernel for the testing phase. Sorry for repeating myself. But I think it adds clarity.

A new kernel in the backports is not as reliable as if the kernel is part of the release.

Maybe I think too much for the desktop experience. They wanted an older kernel to make debian more stable for servers.

The distro arch linux offers the latest kernel by default.

Here is one example why 4.19 is not necessarily more stable than 5.
here is a memory leak that they fixed. And I checked myself that the latest rc 4.19 tag v4.19-rc8 does not have this fix. A free was missing when rafter egister_netdev returns an error.

git clone https://github.com/torvalds/linux.git
commit 07f12b26e21ab359261bf75cfcb424fdc7daeb6d
Author: Mao Wenan <maowenan@huawei.com>
Date: Fri Mar 1 23:06:40 2019 +0800

net: sit: fix memory leak in sit_init_net()


Code: Select all
--- a/net/ipv6/sit.c
+++ b/net/ipv6/sit.c
@@ -1873,6 +1873,7 @@ static int __net_init sit_init_net(struct net *net)
 
 err_reg_dev:
        ipip6_dev_free(sitn->fb_tunnel_dev);
+       free_netdev(sitn->fb_tunnel_dev);
 err_alloc_dev:
        return err;
 }

With a proof I demonstrated you A + B that a shiny new version could have more bug fixes than an old version in LTS mode.

THey do not have a very clean process in the kernel? They don't port all bug fixes to all LTS versions. How can this happen?

In the change log for 4.19 latest, they have newer commits but not this memoy leak fix. Please explain me why.

https://cdn.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel ... og-4.19.34

I clicked change log on this page
https://www.kernel.org/
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby MagicPoulp » 2019-04-12 08:40

The latest bug fix on 4.19 is of 6 dec 2018, more than 4months ago.

Even 4.9 has more recent bug fixes.
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby MagicPoulp » 2019-04-12 09:42

buster cannot use kernel v5 because there is no LTS version for it. But buster can wait until v5 LTS comes out.

What will happen on Dec 2020 when kernel 4.19 goes out of life. What kernel will buster use? A sudden move to 5?
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2019-04-12 13:15

MagicPoulp wrote:buster cannot use kernel v5 because there is no LTS version for it. But buster can wait until v5 LTS comes out.


I'm sure Ben will figure it out somehow, when the time comes. Have a little more faith in Debian.
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Re: Why does debian stable freezes the kernel package?

Postby MagicPoulp » 2019-04-12 14:57

Wheelerof4te wrote:
MagicPoulp wrote:buster cannot use kernel v5 because there is no LTS version for it. But buster can wait until v5 LTS comes out.


I'm sure Ben will figure it out somehow, when the time comes. Have a little more faith in Debian.


Why can't a solution be explained now?

There is a big difference between those 2 cases:
- if the kernel 5 is now in buster the kernel compatibility tested for along time
- if in Dec 2020 they change the kernel, they will use an untested kernel

Debian will probably have to do its own patches on the kernel 4.19.
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