There are no kernel updates without risks involved

It has been a few weeks, or almost a month when I updated my Linux kernel since I was facing some fatal problems with the previous version. One of the most prominent of them being “Kernel Panic” right after ejecting an external hard disk drive each and every time. The only solution I found to this was updating my kernel. So like a Download and Install Typo, I just tried a few things to get the latest kernel.

Some of them being:

1) Update through terminal by using the following commands:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:francisbrwn9/kernels
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

2) Download a .deb package of the new kernel (and of course, click and install it)

Now the thing was the first option didn’t provide me the latest kernel, as it hadn’t been added to the Ubuntu repos yet. And it was too smart of me of trying to get the latest version anyhow, so I followed the second option.

Now what I was unaware of that I was going to face a shit load of problems on doing that. The main reason being that, the latest kernel, 3.2.0-030200-generic-pae was not provided by the native drivers for the machine, since it was generic and it hadn’t been added to the repositories yet.

Result? My wireless stopped working. I knew the driver was missing. So I had to now connect it to a cable an find the driver online. Now the thing is, I live in a hostel, and unplugging the wireless router cable and using it personally had many risks involved. If someone notices, I would have been in big trouble. As an act of bravery, I did it! I searched for the Broadcom driver, some B5(xyz) (it has been a long time)… and also spent my limited bandwidth to download it, only to find out that the driver is not supported by the latest kernel.

I searched, try to apply some fixes, worked upon it, but to no positive result. Then, like a guiding hand of sympathy, a web page appeared infront of me, asking me to apply the first option. Lost and distressed, I gave up the hopes for using the latest kernel, and eagerly typed the commands given above. This downloaded the earlier version 3.0.0-16-generic, but still upgraded from the current one-

The download took a long time. But at least it was a cure. Now, when I was plugged to the cable outside, I had no means of charging my laptop. And considering the Ubuntu battery support, I had my fingers crossed. Downloading the kernel was like a race against time:

Notice the time remaining in download and battery

It couldn’t catch up. I had to put the laptop to sleep, and praying that download doesn’t begin again. Luck was on my side, and download resumed after sleep.

So, though the kernel was not the latest, at least my problem of “kernel panic” was solved. But even this kernel gives me some problem.When I remove the charger and plug in again, the laptop hibernates, pretty annoying. And I’ve to start my machine every time by going to the “Previous Linux Versions”  and selecting this one.

But I’m just waiting for Ubuntu  12.04  to solve my problems, due on 25th April.


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