Updating the kernel solves Audio, Video Issues

Asked by Ashok on 2018-01-12

I have been trying to install Ubuntu 16.10 on a customized laptop which has a completely different architecture. It has a cherrytrail processor and has Ethernet-over-USB.

Refer the below links for additional details:

Now, the Ubuntu installs perfectly, however, the audio doesn't work and I am facing some video rendering issues too. I was suggested to update the kernel from 4.8 to 4.13. Now the audio, video works fine, but I am facing some problem when I am connecting to the inbuilt WiFi adapter (Ralink Technology, Corp. MT7601U Wireless Adapter). If I connect an external one it works perfectly fine (the in-built adapter works perfectly in Windows OS).

Now my questions are:
1. What was there in kernel 4.13 that fixed the audio, video issue, but not so in the case of kernel v 4.8?
2. What level of interaction does a kernel have with the hardware?
3. Relation between the kernel and drivers?
4. How to determine which kernel my customized-laptop supports?
5. Why is the in-built adapter not working? I want the WiFi to work in monitoring mode.

Obviously, I won't expect one to answer all of my questions, but I would really appreciate if anyone could throw some light on one or more queries of mine. Thanks in advance.

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If you check the changelog it will tell you how the kernel changed over time

Manfred Hampl (m-hampl) said : #2

Ubuntu 16.10 is not supported any more and does not receive any error corrections (not even for critical vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Spectre). You should consider switching to a supported release, see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases for details.

And answering one of your details questions: For widely-used hardware the kernel packages provide the necessary drivers, and for more "exotic" hardware you need to install the drivers from additional packages.

In case of problems with wireless adapters there is a guide: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WirelessTroubleshootingProcedure

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