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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Fri, 18 May 2012

I'm running Linux kernel 3.2.0-15 from Debian Backports

After months and months on Linux kernel 2.6.39 from Debian Backports on my Squeeze laptop, I decided to give a newer kernel a try.

I'm only using newer kernels than the 2.6.32 that ships with Squeeze because the version of the ALSA sound system built into that kernel doesn't mute the audio on my Lenovo G555 laptop when I plug in a headphone jack. Kernels after 2.6.35 or so, which include a newer ALSA, fix this bug, and that's pretty much the only reason I'm not running the stock Squeeze kernel, which is updated regularly for security patches.

The Debian Backports kernels don't seem to update on their own. You need to periodically go in there, see what new kernels are available and install one.

I've had few kernel panics here and there in 2.6.39, so I figured that dipping into the 3.x era of Linux kernels was warranted.

There are two 3.2.0 kernels right now in the Debian Backports repository -- 3.2.0-4 and 3.2.0-15. I used 3.2.0-15, and so far all is running well. Sound works as expected. So does suspend/resume. And in a couple of days, I've experienced no kernel panics.

Absent my sound issues, I would have never used a "newer" kernel, and by the time I move this laptop to Debian Wheezy (or any other distribution with a post-2.6.35 kernel), I should be able to run that system's default kernel for the duration.