When and when not to install Kernel header updates and other important system files?

Hi there,
I'm fairly new to Zorin and linux in general and I've come across a problem on a couple of occasions when allowing software update to install new Kernel headers. On 2 occasions now I've allowed it to install the updates and not been able to boot the machine afterwards. On checking the available update I note it's an update for the Kernel I'm running. This happened today with an install I have on a remote server. dpkg -l | grep linux-headers-$(uname -r) returns linix-headers-5.15.0-83-generic, 5.15.0-83.92~20.04.1 and 64 Linux kernel headers for version 5.15.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP. Software update suggested an update to 'Complete Generic Linux Kernel headers', 'Header files related to Kernel version 5.15.0' and several extra modules for version 5.15.0 along with some other shared libraries and utilities. I allowed it to update and was unable to boot afterwards. This has also happened before with my local machine running Zorin. This is an obvious gap in my knowledge, so I was wondering what is the rule of thumb for updating when it concerns Kernel and system files, so as to avoid this problem in the future and ensure I update any critical system files? I know its a bit of a broad request, but I need to educate myself further on this.

Thank you in advance.

I actually had trouble recently with the rollout of the 5.15.0-84 kernel on Zorin OS.
For me, -83 works fine. But -84 had a variety of different issues. So, I rolled back to 83.

This was not the first time I had trouble with a kernel, but it was the first time it was so noticeable that it immediately got my attention.

The general rule of thumb is to perform the system updates. The ZorinGroup tests and checks before releasing. The reality is that not all things will be caught in testing.
If there is a kernel issue, a user can enter Advanced options for Zorin, boot into the earlier kernel and remove the latest and report the bug.

But if all your hardware is working fine on a kernel, you can lock it in and prevent woes from future kernel upgrades. This way, you won't have to deal with a no-boot issue if you perform full system upgrades:

1 Like

I've also run into unexpected issues with regular updates as well, on a rolling-release distribution though, where is more common to see these type of issues from time to time. Never so badly as to stop me from rebooting... but in any case this is a good reminder of keep backups and/or snapshots of your system, just in case.

Got it, thank you for the input.

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.