Kernel Fallback Questions - 5.8 and 5.7 Kernels Options

Hello Everyone,

I had a quick question around the “Fallback kernels” and what is being presented. I recently switched to the 5.8 Kernel and when I boot up (in Grub) I see the following:

I was expecting only to see 5.7 Kernel entrees in the Fallback menu, but was surprised to also see 5.8 Kernels listed. Is this expected?

Any help that anyone could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance to everyone for your time and help, it is greatly appreciated!

Hello, did you update GRUB?

I did successfully update Grub after I switched Kernels. No issues.

Yes, this is expected.

Your picture is not showing a “fallback menu” but the regular grub menu. And this menu shows all installed kernels. In your case 5.8 and 5.7. And for each kernel you see two entries. The entry with “fallback initramfs” in the name means that this kernel starts with a more failsafe initramfs. Just in case you mess up your initramfs with mkinitcpio, the “failsafe” kernel might be your rescue.

Just a few words / recommendations regarding this topic:

Kernel 5.7 is basically end of live. Very soon you will not receive any updates to this kernel anymore. This makes it a bad choice as a kernel to keep installed. You should rather think of installing kernel 5.4 which is a log term support kernel. Just in case kernel 5.8 breaks for you, the LTS kernel is a good fallback solution.


Just to give you some background on “fallback initramfs”. These images contain many drivers that are not necessary to start your system at the moment. The normal Kernel images contain just the driver that are necessary to boot your system up.
But if you change your Hardware you might need different drivers to boot. The normal images might fail to boot up. The fallback contains these drivers and let you start your system.

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Awesome guys! This is super helpful with my understanding of everything.

Thank you both for the additional details!