Important kernel update should not break stuff

Roman Kennke rkennke at redhat.com
Wed Jun 13 10:51:43 UTC 2012


Hi folks,

Today something happened, that happens over and over again with Fedora,
and it makes me angry. I am running Fedora 17, and so far it worked well
with the initial kernel 3.3.x (except that it would panic on shutdown...
but that was not important to me, but still embarassing). Today I was
notified of an important security update in the kernel. Curiously, it
would update from 3.3 to 3.4 (a major version upgrade, which should not
happen in such a core package anyway, IMO). Reboot into the new kernel,
everything comes up --- until I want to actually want to read email,
surf web, or anything that requires my network. I am on an Intel Wifi
card, iwlwifi module. I *can* connect to the network, but everything is
suuuuuuper  slow or times-out every now and then. Completely unusable.
Reboot into the older kernel, things work well again. Now I am left with
the choice of running a new kernel w/o network or an unsecure kernel.
Thank you very much!

This sort of thing I would expect in rawhide/development builds, but not
in a supposed-to-be stable release. I can understand the underlying idea
of being on the bleeding edge, but I don't want to actually be bleeding.
At least the base system components should not undergo major version
updates. Security fixes should be backported to the software version
that is in the stable release (1 year release cycle shouldn't be too
demanding for this), and only security fixes and absolutely important
fixes should go into stable releases. (Not to mention that some fixes
that I *would* consider important enough to go into stable never end up
there.) If major version updates are really really necessary, they
should undergo serious testing. I cannot believe that I am the only one
on an Intel Wifi chip. The way it is now, Fedora feels like a constantly
rolling development version that is almost unusable (because any update,
even security, has a fairly high risk of breaking things) for day-to-day
work.

Bugzilla report:
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=831571

Best regards,
Roman




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