Back Story

I tried out the latest Netbook Remix on my Dell Inspiron 600m and it was badly broken. So, I've been trying to downgrade to a usable system. I've managed to restore a 10.04 Netbook Remix and restore my home dir but I still have the issue of linux not coming back from suspend.

Linux 2.6.28-11-generic

Now, I've downloaded the 9.04 installer and narrowed down the issue to the linux version being used. The stock linux 2.6.28-11-generic works perfectly. Suspend is fully operational and it even goes to sleep when you close the lid and wakes up when you open it. I can keep this version of linux by pinning the meta package and upgrading with apt-get. Unfortunately, the graphic tools don't work as well (for me ymmv) and the Update Manager looks like it will upgrade linux despite being asked not to.

Pin linux-generic at current version

To tell apt-get to leave the linux kernel untouched when it upgrades the system, we will pin the package linux-generic to the current version. On a fresh 9.04 Netbook install, the linux-generic package is at version

spinlock@sendack:~$ apt-cache policy linux-generic
  Version table: 0
        500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com jaunty-updates/restricted Packages
        500 http://security.ubuntu.com jaunty-security/restricted Packages
 *** 0
        500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com jaunty/restricted Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

To pin this version we need to edit /etc/apt/policies (as root) and add the following lines:

Package: linux-generic
Pin: version*
Priority: 1001

Upgrade with apt-get

Now, you can upgrade the system with apt-get:

$sudo apt-get update
$sudo apt-get upgrade

You may have some non-linux packages that are held back when you upgrade but you can use the install flag to upgrade those individually:

$sudo apt-get install firefox


So, here's my question, after all of that, I'm still running the 9.04 version of ubuntu. Is there anyway to upgrade the version while keeping my kernel version where it is?



I would mostly say no. You could potentially install the old kernel from jaunty manually in a newer Ubuntu, or just keep upgrading and keep all the old kernel versions installed. The newer versions are designed and supported on a newer kernel though, and may not be compatible. You can boot to another kernel using the grub bootloader. If you do not see the grub menu, try holding shift while booting. Though you might be able to easily fix the issues you have with the new kernel. Why not ask a question about each specific issue?

| improve this answer | |
  • I think you're right. If I try "$sudo do-release-upgrade" to try to get to 9.10, it wants to upgrade the linux-general package despite being pinned. I'm afraid to try this because I think it might also clean out the old version so I won't be able to choose in grub. – spinlock Oct 19 '10 at 20:27
  • All you need is the linux-image-version-generic and linux-headers-version-generic package. The rest are simply meta-data. – NightwishFan Oct 20 '10 at 4:23
  • I forget the mainline kernel ppa as well: kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline – NightwishFan Oct 20 '10 at 5:51

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