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Old 06-03-2004, 09:54 PM   #1
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Registered: May 2003
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Why do I need to upgrade?

I am not fairly new to linux. Been using it for quite some time now. But since all my needs were limted to using linux and not learning it, therefore one most important task was left. Or I always left it, on purpose perhaps, or maybe because I didnt know the significance of it.
The question being: Why should I upgrade to the newest kernel?
Never found anything that wouldnt run on the present one so never found the need, or inclanation to upgrade.
Am I being deluded here? Please educate me in a few words, if more would be a waste of time.
Old 06-03-2004, 10:24 PM   #2
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Registered: May 2003
Location: Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
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well it really depends ... most people upgrade for a couple of reasons that i can think
of ... one being that they just wanna learn how to do it so they practice and recompile
just to learn the process for their own personal knowledge ... and one of the most common reasons is when they need a newer kernel cause there may have been added support for something that may not be included in the kernel they are presently using .. for instance, i have a TV tuner card that is based on the cx88 chipset and the support
has been added to the 2.6.x kernel ... so that could be a reason ... and one of the most
important reasons would be if there was a security flaw in the present kernel and an
upgrade would take care of that problem and patch the security hole in the kernel
that is presently in use ...
they are some of the reasons i can tell you off hand, and i am sure there are other
reasons why people do it, and if they are important enough i am sure them people
will share them ideas ...
Old 06-03-2004, 11:26 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Can
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Also, one of the easiest ways to keep yourself secure is to keep everything up to date. There are likely less kernel vulnerbilities in the newest kernel than in say 2.4.22, and this applies to other programs as well.
Old 06-04-2004, 12:08 AM   #4
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Middletown CT
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There are also speed issues. Newer kernels can use more specific features of a piece of hardware and may have design improvements. Good examples of this are 2.6's use of HypterThreading on P4Cs and later, and the direct IDE CD-burning. Also, if you compile your own kernel you can add support for your hardware directly into it and remove things you don't need / want. This can help squeeze the most performance out of your hardware. I noticed a big improvement when I changed from a stock 2.6.6 kernel image to one I compiled myself with specific hardware support. Unfortunately, if your current setup supports all your hardware, trying to upgrade or make your own might cause issues.


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