Question: Why would I want to swap to an older kernel?

I am not having any issues at this time, but I did notice that my (about 3-week old) install of Manjaro XFCE is running a newer kernel - but older ones are also available.

I’ve previously only used distros (e.g., Debian) that only used older kernels, so I’m not familiar with this.

So just looking for some thoughts on when one might want to use a newer kernel, and when to use an older one?

Suggestions of internet places to read up on and learn more about kernels (for a medium-level Linux user) are welcome, too.


My “best practice” is to always have two kernels installed. At least one is a longterm release (LT). If your computer is working, I would tend to leave it. However, if it isn’t LT, I would at least install one, and consider making it the bootable one. One changes kernel for the normal software reasons: fix bugs, add features, support new hardware, support old hardware.

The place to read more about the kernel is and their documentation. From the main page, they have a changelog for each release. Some distributions have a kernel doc package, but Manajaro does not. Manjaro does have kernel documentation for their tool.


One other reason:

Manjaro is a rolling release. At some time in the future your actually used kernel will become unsupported (EOL). Then the chance of breaking your system with an regular update rises. (It will break at some time if you stay at the EOL-kernel !!!)

You have to watch the lifetime of your actual kernel !

When it becomes EOL, you have to move on to a newer one.

LTS-kernels have extended lifetime.

This is the price of using a rolling release !

Please install 2 kernels (one of them LTS)

Every Major/Minor Kernel Version has some sort of new features and Drivers. New Features and Drivers are not always backwards compatible or need some adjustments to work on older hardware. Therefore, older Kernels are preferred here. It is like running Windows 10 with the NT Kernel of Windows XP (obviously that is not possible), but so it is on Linux.

On newer Kernels, Features or Drivers change, or things get removed from the code. If there is something you need, which is only available on this kernel or an optional module (driver) which only works on an older kernel, then you are free to use an older one, while having the latest software.

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Thanks, all! Very good information!

One more kernel suggestion. Always read the Stable Update Announcement, at least the first 2 posts by philm before doing an update. There will be a section, “Our current supported kernels”.

Got it. Thanks!