Re: Is a kernel upgrade necessary ?
On Tue, Nov 07, 2006 at 04:48:06PM +0100, Nicolas Pillot wrote:
> A long time ago, i installed a debian woody (3.0r3) on an old P75 . It
> served me well since then, and was regularly updated via the stable
> tree. (( its tasks are quite basic : httpd, cron, ssh, sql )). It
> seems like the different packages underwent the woody to sarge
> transition smoothly. At least i don't remember having done anything
> special at that moment.
> But i just noticed the kernel was still the same (2.2.20), although
> there are newer 2.4.X and 2.6.X kernels out there. So my questions are
> - is it worth an upgrade ?
> - is it as simple as an apt-get install kernel-image-xxx ?
> (debian-reference speaks mainly about compiling of kernels,
> so i think this may be trivial if so few info is given about it... )
> - P75 is i586. does apt-get choose the right architecture ?
> if not, should i select 2.4.x-x-386 or 2.4.x-x-586tsc (named
> "Pentium-Classic") ?
> I'd say the later.
> - finally, there is no 2.6.x-x-586tsc. If i want 2.6, do i have to go "back"
> to i386 ? Would this be a problem "performance" wise ? In this case,
> would it be a possible option to compile the latest kernel on the 586 ?
> - i have no quick physical access on that machine and i'm planning to
> do the upgrade via ssh. Would there be any special pb ?
> - is it normal that "dpkg --get-selections \*" doesn't show me any
> kernel-image with the "install" status ?
> Sorry for the many questions, and thanks in advance for any hint i could get
In reverse order:
Your kernel was installed during woody's install, before you started
using dpkg or aptitude. The problem here is that you will not have been
getting security updates. The first priority is to use aptitude and see
if there is still a 2.2.20 kernel image listed (therefore supported and
The kernel does security and hardware stuff. If you're not trying to
access new hardware (USB?) then there's no reason to upgrade on that
account. For security, the important thing is to have security updates.
If there is no current 2.2.20 then you should get a newer kernel. If
there is a 2.2.20 then you can just 'install' that via aptitude (note
that you will get some warnings about installing a kernel the same
version as what it finds already there).
Re ssh. Assuming that everything but the kernel is up-to-date then its
reasonably safe. However, I always treat kernel updates with some
trepidation. The trick is that if the kernel you install is the same
version as what you have (2.2.20) then the libs will be overwritten
instead of going into a separate directory. You can also copy /boot
into /boot/backup so you can use a grub-disk manually.
Do you have an alternate remote-access available? E.g. modem on a
serial port you can dial in on? Set grub to use a serial console? See,
that's the problem with ssh; you can't see boot messages.
Re 586tsc. yes we have no banannas. Back to 386 it is. I found the
2.6 kernel much faster on my P-75 than the 2.2 or 2.4.
Yes it can be as simple as apt-get but I always use the interactive
Note that module handling will have changed so you may spend some time
tweaking modules. You'll need to see the boot messages. Install the
kernel-doc package for your choses version.
Have good backups, an alternate boot setup, and preferably a remote
serial console (there's a HOWTO about that).
Watch your disk space. The libs can add up if / is on too small a