Questions about OS updates

Andy stude.list at
Wed Jun 18 17:03:20 UTC 2008

2008/6/18 John Toliver <john.toliver at>:
> Here is what my sources.list file looks
> like:
> [snip]

If your using Hardy I don't know why you would need Gutsy in your
sources list. Try commenting the gutsy lines out.

> 1. How else might I discover the purpose of the update?

Does the update manager show you which repro it's getting each package
from? (I can't remember of the top of my head). If so if it shows it's a security update ;)

You can look at: for a list of security
notices, normally you will get an update that fixes each one (assuming
you have an affected version).

If this seems like a lot them you should remember:
1) These are updates for all supported software, not just the OS
2) Some of these updates may affect versions you don't have or
software you haven't installed
3) Unlike another major software vendor Canonical doesn't appear to
save up all it's patches till a certain day of the month

> What is going
> on that warrants a new kernel update every 2 weeks or a month tops(I
> understand if that is too open-ended a question to answer).

If you where on Hardy before official release then it would have been
getting bug fixes and other stuff.
Since release it should only have been getting security updates. I
only know of the following security notices specifically for the
kernel in Hardy:


Mainly local denial of service, there was a privilege escalation
vulnerability with a certain driver.
Better to be safe than sorry though.

> 2. Last question: Should I hold on to all the old ones, or when can I
> determine it's safe to remove them?

Old kernels can be removed in Synaptic. Search for linux-image. DO NOT
delete the one you actually want to use. Normally you would keep them
till you're sure everything works.

You may also want to remove old version of linux-restricted-modules as well.

If the entries are not removed from the boot menu you may have to do
it manually.


Computers are like air conditioners. Both stop working, if you open windows.
 -- Adam Heath

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