The 4.10.y Kernel has come to pass on into the netherworld, and paved the way for Kernel series 4.11.y, which comes with fixes for fscrypt, a boatload of new support for ARM devices such as the BananaPi device for example, enhancements to AMD’s Vulkan technology, as well as support for Intel's upcoming Geminilake processor graphics support!
The Linux Kernel 4.10.y was not a long term support release, so the time for it to be superseded was always on the horizon, much to the joy, but also fear, of many.
Many users found the 4.10.y kernel to fix numerous bugs for them, but as anyone experienced in using a GNU/Linux operating system knows, with new Kernel updates can also come breakage, sometimes catastrophic; such as when Linux creator Linus Torvalds lost his marbles about code in the 4.8 stable kernel, that was NOT so stable at all.
Nonetheless, I am personally of the belief that it’s always better to upgrade your kernel when you see new updates are available for it, as more often than not the benefits outweigh the negatives; I’m also very security oriented and would prefer to keep my system updated especially when I see updates to security aspects and filesystems.
Another example which is useful for me to know personally with the initial 4.11 release, having multiple servers in production environments using the EXT4 filesystem, are the following changes, taken directly from the Linux Kernel archive sent to Linus Torvalds, “For this cycle we add support for the shutdown ioctl, which is primarily used for testing, but which can be useful on production systems when a scratch volume is being destroyed and the data on it doesn't need to be saved. This found (and we fixed) a number of bugs with ext4's recovery to corrupted file system --- the bugs increased the amount of data that could be potentially lost, and in the case of the inline data feature, could cause the kernel to BUG. Also included are a number of other bug fixes, including in ext4's fscrypt, DAX, inline data support.”
Today, I logged into my laptop to find that there was an update to Linux 4.11.2-1, which came with more bug fixes and is now considered the latest stable version of the kernel.
However, according to the Linux Kernel GIT repository Linus posted the Linux Kernel 4.12-rc2 files 37 hours ago at the time of writing this article, for those who with to test the release candidate for the next major kernel update.
Now granted, release candidates are not stable, and there will almost definitely be some issues, but hey, some people prefer absolute bleeding edge technology at the cost of stability.
All major distributions should already be rolling out updates to kernel 4.11.2, and if they haven’t yet, will likely be doing so in the very near future, so keep your eyes on your updating tools, or run a command line update today and see if it pops in!
A really quick and easy way to check which kernel you are using is to pop open your terminal and type:
You’ll get a message of something like this:
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