Recently we have had a number of issues with hardware regressions on the LTS kernels, rendering systems with newer hardware unbootable. This has me wondering if it might be time to move LTS to a newer version. The 4.9 series has been good to us, but it has also been the LTS release on Solus for 3 years now. We had some issues on 4.14 with Intel systems, but those were largely fixed in the meantime. 4.19 is the first kernel after the AMD DC/DAL patches landed for newer GPUs, causing some breakage for older Radeon cards. 5.4 was fraught with many issues in the early releases, but has had a lot of time to mature since then, with fixes getting back-ported from newer kernels.
From my perspective, there are 3 main routes forward:
- Remain on 4.9 and hope that things don't regress further.
- Move to the 4.14 kernel and see how that works out in testing, as a small step forward.
- Move to the 5.4 kernel with the knowledge that anyone on LTS can get a rough idea of compatibility by testing
linux-current and provide this feedback to help inform the decision.
I'd rather not stick with 4.9 as it is becoming a problem for supporting newer hardware (last 3-5 years) since it predates most of the major hardware shifts in the kernel (Vega/Navi, Zen, Newer Intel). I think 4.14 feels like a half-measure, but might at least buy us time on older systems that might not work well on newer kernels. At the same time, 5.4 is closest to the
linux-current kernel which makes testing without updating the LTS kernel yet a bit easier. I also have no interest in adding the third kernel into the mix as having to already creates a lot of extra work.
At this point, I have not made a final decision on what to do. But I am attaching a poll to this post to get a better idea where people stand today and to understand the reasoning behind choosing the LTS kernels over
linux-current. If you don't mind taking the time to explain your own reasoning, in addition to responding to the poll, I would greatly appreciate this feedback. Thank you!