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I'm currently running lubuntu 16.04 and recently I updated the kernel from 4.4.0-51 to 4.4.0-75 and upon my next boot lost wifi and hfsplus support. I was able to use grub to use my older kernel, but I'd like to avoid scenarios like this in the future if I can. I'll break my question into four specific parts:

  1. What changes can I make to the Software Updater program to avoid receiving potentially system breaking updates (settings, repos, etc.)?

  2. In the event that a problematic update still gets through that prevents system boot what is the easiest way to get the system back to a bootable state aside from using a full system backup or using grub to load an older kernel?

  3. After restabilizing the system, how can I uninstall/rollback that update from Software Updater?

  4. How can I prevent that update from appearing again as an installable update in Software Updater?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Pilot6, Charles Green, David Foerster, user364819, waltinator May 12 '17 at 22:41

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    This is not a discussion forum. This question will be closed as opinion based. The recommended way is to install all updates. I do it on many machines and have no problems. – Pilot6 May 12 '17 at 16:13
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    If you're concerned about stability only enable the xenial and xenial-security repositories and leave xenial-updates, xenial-proposed, and xenial-backports be. – David Foerster May 12 '17 at 16:53
  • What @DavidFoerster said, especially the -proposed and -backports repositories are more experimental and known for causing trouble sometimes. -updates however should normally be enabled in my opinion, although these updates are not as important as the ones from -security. – Byte Commander May 12 '17 at 18:01
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My experience (since 14.04 LTS was fresh) has been that installing all updates as soon as I'm notified of them works well -- and it's clearly the best security practice, as I'm not missing important security updates (which tend to come in large groups) because I want to take weeks to install them and watch for problems. If you're using an LTS release and updating from the default repositories, you're' getting software that has been vetted by Canonical and the community for stability, maintainability, and security.

On the rare occasion as you note, where a kernel update breaks something, use GRUB to boot to the previous kernel, then lock out the problem update and wait for the next one, or seek a solution here.

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Broadly speaking, you can:

  • test with live disk first
  • make a test partition with clean system and update that one before any update to main system; you can use dd or http://clonezilla.org/ to backup a test partition and clean it if it goes wrong
  • you can clone your system partition before upgrade
  • you can install to that test partition any new distro and see if it fits the bill
  • if you're seeking stability and compatibility you should never do mass upgrades, instead do by package upgrade apt-get install packageName --only-upgrade
  • if it's too much work in the end you can just wait for the devs to fix the problem
  • There's no such feature, that's why you couldn't find it :) I would be very disappointed to find out that I'd damaged the logic of a post by editing; please correct any changes in meaning. I edited your post because it looked like an "I'm having this problem too" comment. I found it in the low quality review because someone had flagged it as not an answer. I removed the first part for that reason. This site is not a forum for sharing user stories. – Zanna May 12 '17 at 20:49
  • Yeah transparency is what we want, and no fights. Bug reports are indeed off-topic... but that question is unclear to me. – Zanna May 13 '17 at 18:41

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