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I have a kernel question. Should I update my Linux kernel? I am fairly new to Linux, running Zorin 5.2 core on an older HP (XP originally) with a 3500 AMD Sempron processor, 1.256 gigs of ram and 160 gig hard drive. I have had this OS for about 4 months now. My Ubuntu update center says there are kernel updates. I have searched and read the forums and am still unsure whether to update my kernel or not. It seems it causes a lot of problems, which I am not sure I will be able to solve. Can anyone help me with the benefits versus troubles this could cause me and what is best to do, update or don't update?
If your distribution offers you an update you should make that update, since most of the time it will be security fixes. A kernel update will not de-install the old kernel, so if there are any problems you can simply choose at boot time to use the old kernel.
Yes, it'll be fine. It's very unusual for a vendor distributed kernel to cause any problems, and your old one will be left in place should there be issues, allowing you to boot back into it trivially (on most distros that is, no idea about Zorin as I've never even heard of it!). Those issues arise if you decide to build your own.
Zorin is a Ubuntu derivative. It's goal is to help new Linux users by giving the GUI a look and feel of Windows 7, XP, Mac or Gnome with a desktop environment
Look Changer. It is still Linux but the familiar can help, especially in a family situation where everyone is used to a different OS (my wife can even use it!). It is by far the easiest Distro to install and run out of the box I have found. Currently ranked 12 on DistroWatch.
Thanks for the update answers everyone, I will give the kernel update a try.
I updated my kernel with no problems. I didn't have any problems with compiled drivers, because as of yet I don't have a clue how to compile a driver or program. Again thanks. I hope you guys realize how important your help is for people new to Linux based Operating Systems.