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So, im now using slackware 64b - current to Mon Jun 10 21:51:54 UTC 2013, which contains the 3.9.5 kernel, and i noticed that there have been some updates in the current ftp that contains version 3.9.7, my question is, if i update to current what happens to the kernel version im currently using, is gonna be replaced entirely or is gonna be saved somewhere, and what will happen to the AMD driver that is installed, i will have to install it again? that is not a problem, i just want to know details about what will happen if I do an update with slackpkg.
i know there are always risks with using the current version, i just want to know if is safe to do it so.
It depends on how you have slackpkg configured. It is recommended to blacklist the kernel package for slackpkg, so that it doesn't get automatically updated. Rather use installpkg manually to install the newer kernel and add a new section for that kernel yourself to the bootloader. This way you can revert back to the kernel you are currently running when there are problems with the new kernel.
Regarding the AMD driver, yes, you have to install it again. Keep in mind that you probably also have to do that if you get updates for Mesa and libdrm.
but lets say im using a laptop with not so old hardware, 2011-2012, do you think it would be better to update the kernel or keep the old one? i mean do kernel support for recent hardware really changes that much over versions?. just asking. thanks for your time.
in any case i think im gonna wait a few more updates to upgrade the system. everything is working as it should be right now.
Distribution: Slint64-14.2 on Lenovo Thinkpad W520
Generally speaking, I think that third digit kernel updates do not introduce new features or drivers, only fixes.
OTOH, running -current is mainly intended for people eager to test it before it becomes the next stable release, so it'd seem consistent with that aim to follow updates you see in the Changelog.
Else and unless you know that you'd miss a driver using it, IMO it's better to run the most recent stable release instead or current, possibly upgrading only the kernel (that you would then build yourself, helped by information provided @ docs.slackware.org), but only if really needed to support your hardware.
Last edited by Didier Spaier; 06-24-2013 at 06:26 AM.
Reason: Added "possibly upograding only the kernel... "
Whenever you install or upgrade to a new kernel, you will have to rebuild (compile) kernel modules against your new kernel.
This include GPU blob (NVidia and AMD), virtualbox kernel drivers, xtables, and so on.
Beware some of the of theses build process work only with the running kernel. You will have to first reboot with the new kernel in a low runlevel (3 is generally fine, avoid 4 and graphical login), build and install the extra modules against the new kernel, and reboot again.
I do it that way each time I upgrade the kernel in -current.