cryptic update description

Asked by Dan Smith

I just received a notice that four updates available. Looking at the description of the third [linux-image-2.6.27-14-generic{linux kernel image for version 2.6.27 on x86/x86_64(Size:22.0MB)}], it says , in part, "You likely do not want to install this package directly. Instead, install the linux-generic meta-package, which will ensure that upgrades work correctly, and that supporting packages are also installed". I don't understand a word of that. Am I supposed to install the other three and unclick that one? Then what? Install "THE" meta-package? What meta- package? Where's that? This machine is the Everex gOS TC2512v.2 Wal-mart special(Ubuntu 7.10), which could not be upgraded to 8.04 w/o destroying it's kernel, so I had to jump to 8.10 with a LiveCD fresh install. It may already be crippled, I don't know what I'm doing, and I get a message like that? Is there some sort of secret handshake here that I don't know about?

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actionparsnip (andrew-woodhead666) said :

That is a new kernel. If the kernel you are currently running is working great and all hardwae is running the you do NOT need the update.

If you are experiencing difficulty with hardware then the kernel update may help.

a meta-package is a hollow package that simply installs other packages in one. A good example of this is the 'ubuntu-desktop' package. It actually contains nothing at al and you can remove it and lose nothing at all. If it is installed then it will install all the packages that make up the ubuntu desktop. Another meta-package is

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Steve (stupendoussteve-deactivatedaccount) said :

The description is generally looked at when you go to install an
application and in this case is written from that standpoint. If you
were installing a kernel package, you would want to install
linux-generic which would pull in the correct kernel image, and not
directly install the image itself. This is all the description is

From an updates standpoint you can ignore that message. It is trying
to update the package version which was pulled in with the
linux-generic meta package already.

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Dan Smith (sentol) said :

Please be aware I'm over 60 and completely new to COMPUTERS, not just linux. The kernel on this machine is already 2.6.27-14-generic, so even I know not to install a "new" kernel that's not new, I guess. Don't take this wrong, because I really do appreciate any help I can get, but I had to look up "image" (new definition) on Wikipedia, and I still have not a clue what's meant by that in this context, so I have to somewhat repeat my question: What do I do? Do I unclick that third update and install the other three, not install any of the four, or something else? The four, in order: linux-headers-2.6.27-14; linux-headers-2.6.27-14-generic; linux-image-2.6.27-14-generic and linux-libc-dev. Thanks, Dan.

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actionparsnip (andrew-woodhead666) said :

The kernel is the centre of the system, it provides hardware and ram access. Its called an image as the kernel is continually being developed by the kernel tea so a 'snapshot' is taken (like a photo) like a photo or 'image'. The next day they will continue the development and will create a new 'image' at a later date. If all your hardware is fine, untick the boxes as you do not need it. Newer is not always better.

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