Important kernel update should not break stuff

Johannes Lips johannes.lips at
Wed Jun 13 12:05:08 UTC 2012

On Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 1:00 PM, Roman Kennke <rkennke at> wrote:

> > 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:
> >
> Since I just received an email in private pointing out that emails like
> mine above might be discouraging and not helpful... let me apologize for
> this. My intention is not to bash other people's best efforts, but
> instead try to help out (otherwise I would not bother to diligently file
> bugreports and mention my concerns on this list). I am willing to help
> track down and fix the problem. However, I see a more general problem
> and maybe we can turn this into a discussion how to address (or answer)
> it.
> - Why do we allow new major versions of core components into a stable
> release? What sort of testing is performed before a major kernel update
> hits Fedora stable?
> - What is the policy with regards to risky changes (like unnecessary
> feature updates, ABI changes, etc) in stable?
> - How can problems like the one I described above be avoided? Is there
> anything I and others can help with?
> Roman
> --
> devel mailing list
> devel at
I think the reason for shipping the latest upstream kernel is based on the
fact that backporting would be too much work.
Gives a good overview and probably prevents us from repeating arguments in
the discussion.

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