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Debian kernel installer

There is new, small tool available for Sparkers: Debian’s Linux kernel installer.

A few guys of our community members asked about that, so couldn’t not adding that.

What for?
As Sparky is shipped with Debian kernel as default, I couldn’t find a reason to do that, but…
Someones of you install and test other kernels, such as Liquorix or Sparky, and then uninstall the Debian’s one. After finding problems with some specific devices or so, want to easy install the Debian’s one back.
End of story…

The old 686-pae Debian kernel installer has been removed as well (it is inside the new tool).

The tool is available via ‘sparky-aptus’ >= 0.3.21 package.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install sparky-aptus

APTus

 

Linux kernel 4.15.2

 

There is an update of Linux kernel of the 4.15.x – 4.15.2 available in Sparky repos.

The biggest change, comparing to 4.15.1 is patching the Spectre issue (v1).

The Sparky’s Linux kernel is available in Sparky “unstable” repository, so enabled it to upgrade (if you have older version already installed) or to make fresh installation:
https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/repository

Follow the Wiki page: https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/linux_kernel to install the latest Sparky’s Linux kernel.

It requires rebooting to take effects.

So, looks like the Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754), Spectre v1 (CVE-2017-5753) & v2 (CVE-2017-5715) issues are patched in the latest kernel now.

How to check your present Linux kernel of the Meltdown and Spectre issues?
1. Install ‘spectre-meltdown-checker’ package from Debian’s repository:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install spectre-meltdown-checker

and run it:
sudo spectre-meltdown-checker
This is a screenshot of the checker from my Sparky 5 / Debian testing “Buster” amd64 OS.

Spectre & Meltdown checker

 

Linux kernel 4.15.0 updated

 

There is an update of Linux kernel of the 4.15.0 – 4.15.0-2 available in Sparky repos.

The latest kernel has been rebuilt with GCC 7.3 to fix (as much as possible) the Spectre issue (v2 now).

The Sparky’s Linux kernel is available in Sparky “unstable” repository, so enabled it to upgrade (if you have older version already installed) or to make fresh installation:
https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/repository

Follow the Wiki page: https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/linux_kernel to install the latest Sparky’s Linux kernel.

It requires reboot to take effects.

How to check your present Linux kernel of the Meltdown and Spectre issues?
1. Install ‘spectre-meltdown-checker’ package from Debian’s repository:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install spectre-meltdown-checker

and run it:
sudo spectre-meltdown-checker
This is a screenshot of the checker from my Sparky 5 / Debian testing “Buster” amd64 laptop.

Spectre & Meltdown checker

So it means we are one more step ahead 🙂

 

Linux kernel 4.15.0

 

The first version of Linux kernel of the 4.15 line – 4.15.0 just landed in Sparky “unstable” repository.

The Sparky’s Linux kernel is available in Sparky “unstable” repository, so enabled it to upgrade (if you have older version already installed) or to make fresh installation:
https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/repository

Follow the Wiki page: https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/linux_kernel to install the latest Sparky’s Linux kernel.

Then reboot your machine to take effects.

To quick remove older version of the Linux kernel, simply run APTus-> Remove-> Uninstall Old Kernel tool.

Sparky’s kernel 4.15.0 doesn’t provide a fix of the Spectre issue yet.
Why not?

The most important is the proper compiler, means GCC 7.3 or 8.0 which is not available in Debian’s testing/unstable repository yet (we use 7.2 now).

As Greg Kroah-Hartman said:

This X86_FEATURE_RETPOLINE is enabled for all AMD/Intel CPUs. For full support you also need to be building the kernel with a newer GCC compiler containing -mindirect-branch=thunk-extern support. The GCC changes landed in GCC 8.0 yesterday and is in the process of potentially being back-ported to GCC 7.3.

So we have to wait…

How to check your present Linux kernel of the Meltdown and Spectre issues?
1. Install ‘spectre-meltdown-checker’ package from Debian’s repository:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install spectre-meltdown-checker

and run it:
sudo spectre-meltdown-checker
2.
cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep bugs
3.
cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/vulnerabilities/spectre_v1
cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/vulnerabilities/spectre_v2
cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/vulnerabilities/meltdown

More info about the kernel 4.15 from Linus: lkml.org/lkml/2018/1/28/173

 

APTus 0.3.14

There is an update of Sparky APTus 0.3.14 available in our repository.

Changelog:
1. removed “–yes” option of the apt command from installation of Debian, Liquorix amd Sparky kernels:
– it displays amount of all packages to be downloaded and needs your confirmation now
2. re-written ‘old-kernel-remover’ script (honestly written a brand new):
– uses Yad now instead of Zenity
– shows all jobs in a terminal emulator window
– lets you autoremove after
– removes an old initrd.img of a just removed kernel
– displays info window when finshed

Heavy tested already, but let me know if you find something wrong, please.

APTus

 

Linux kernel 4.14.0

 

The first version of Linux kernel of the 4.14 line – 4.14.0 just landed in Sparky “unstable” repository.

The Sparky’s Linux kernel is available in Sparky “unstable” repository, so enabled it to upgrade (if you have older version already installed) or to make fresh installation:
https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/repository

Follow the Wiki page: https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/linux_kernel to install the latest Sparky’s Linux kernel.

Then reboot your machine to take effects.

To quick remove older version of the Linux kernel, simply run APTus-> Remove-> Uninstall Old Kernel tool.

 

Linux kernel 4.13.0

 

The first stable version of Linux kernel of the 4.13.x line – 4.13.0 just landed in Sparky “unstable” repository.

The Sparky’s Linux kernel is available in Sparky “unstable” repository, so enabled it to upgrade (if you have older version already installed) or to make fresh installation:
https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/repository

Follow the Wiki page: https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/linux_kernel to install the latest Sparky’s Linux kernel.

Then reboot your machine to take effects.

To quick remove older version of the Linux kernel, simply run APTus-> Remove-> Uninstall Old Kernel tool.

 

Linux kernel 4.12.0

 

The first, stable version of Linux kernel of the 4.12.x line – 4.12.0 just landed in Sparky “unstable” repository.

The Sparky’s Linux kernel is available in Sparky “unstable” repository, so enabled it to upgrade (if you have older version already installed) or to make fresh installation:
https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/repository

Follow the Wiki page: https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/linux_kernel to install the latest Sparky’s Linux kernel.

Then reboot your machine to take effects.

To quick remove older version of the Linux kernel, simply run APTus-> Remove-> Uninstall Old Kernel script.

The last kernel of the 4.10.x line – 4.10.17 has been removed from repos.
The latest kernel of the 4.11.x line – 4.11.8 is still available in Sparky repos.

 

Sparky kernel builder

There is a new tool available in Sparky’s git repos: Sparky Kernel Builder.

The script easy the Linux kernel building process, if you would like to do yourself.

The script downloads the kernel sources from kernel.org, untar it, lets you make changes in its configuration, and builds debs and source packages.

It can be downloaded from Sparky’s git repos: https://sourceforge.net/p/sparkylinux/code/ci/master/tree/sparky-kernel-builder/

Dependencies:
grep coreutils pwd make bash xz-utils tar fakeroot build-essential ncurses-dev libssl-dev bc kernel-package wget iputils-ping gawk

You need 15 GB of free space to make one build.
Make the script executable: chmod +x sparky-kernel-builder
Run the script (as a regular user):
./sparky-kernel-builder

Then have a cup of long coffee or so…

Don’t hesitate to improve it and let me know if you did it, please.

 

Linux kernel 4.11.0

 

The first, stable version of Linux kernel of the 4.11.x line – 4.11.0 just landed in Sparky “unstable” repository.

The Sparky’s Linux kernel is available in Sparky “unstable” repository, so enabled it to upgrade (if you have older version already installed) or to make fresh installation:
https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/repository

Follow the Wiki page: https://sparkylinux.org/wiki/doku.php/linux_kernel to install the latest Sparky’s Linux kernel.

Then reboot your machine to take effects.

To quick remove older version of the Linux kernel, simply run APTus-> Remove-> Uninstall Old Kernel script.

The latest kernel of the 4.10.x line – 4.10.13 is still available in Sparky’s repos too.

 

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