I am using a Ubuntu 16.04 system and somehow ended up with the kernel 4.10 on my system. I researched this with uname -a which output was

Linux blackbox-H97-D3H 4.10.0-42-generic #46~16.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Mon Dec 4 15:57:59 UTC 2017 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

After some research I found out that 16.04 on default runs with Linux 4.4, but some people have 4.10 like me. Note: I installed it march '17 and I heared some people talking about newer ISOS coming with this kernel. (but why should they if those kernel is not going to be supportet after the end of life for 17.04?)

So my first question is: How did this happen, because I can not remember upgrading the system and I can not imagine apt to install newer kernels and should I not be on 4.13 if it did? Can you tell me how this might have happend.

And then the second part of my question: According to this if 4.10 Kernel is not beeing patched for Meltdown and Spectre so should I rather upgrade to 4.13, downgrade to 4.4 as it appears that most PCs on 16.04 are running on this kernel, or do nothing (why ever one should do that)?

  • Can you tell us now 20 days later what kernel version you ended up using? – WinEunuuchs2Unix Jan 28 '18 at 1:14

All you need to know is here.

In particular, you will be automatically upgraded to 4.13 in February, and to 4.15 in August.

Regarding the Meltdown paches for 4.10 in 16.04, it seems it will not be patched (because it comes from 17.04 and Canonical decided to not patch 17.04 since it will be EOL soon). Thus, unless Canonical decides to hasten the upgrade to 4.13, it gives a window of about a month during which you will remain on an unpatched kernel. If this is indeed the case, you can temporarily revert to the original 4.4, which will be patched (if it is not installed on your system, install the package linux-generic).


The Rolling HWE kernel for Ubuntu 16.04 will go to 4.13 early, instead of also fixing 4.10 HWE kernel.

see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SecurityTeam/KnowledgeBase/SpectreAndMeltdown


Around January 11, 2018 (four days after your question was posted) many Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS users on HWE (Hardware Enablement Stack) were taken from Kernel version 4.10 to Kernel 4.13.0-26. It should be noted that many problems occurred with kernel version 4.13.0-26 that have hopefully been fixed or soon will be.

Kernel 4.13.0-xx-generic chain appears to effect both Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on HWE and Ubuntu 17.10. As of January 27, 2018 the current version is 4.13.0-32-generic.

Note Ubuntu 16.10 and 17.04 are already EOL (End of Life) so won't be getting Kernel 4.13 updates. Also note 17.10 will reach EOL in July 2018.

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