I am just using the default kernel on my laptop with wheezy and found nothing that i cant do yet
what is the benefit of installing a newer kernel it it like Battery life, performance stuff?
Best Answer +Karl L. , 14 June 2013 - 16:05
Firey is right; the benefits of a newer kernel are mostly support for newer hardware and occasional performance improvements. You would need to look at the kernel changelogs to understand exactly what changed between versions. A good summary of changes between each kernel release can be found here.
Important Changes in Linux 3.2
Important Changes in Linux 3.3
Important Changes in Linux 3.4
Important Changes in Linux 3.5
Important Changes in Linux 3.6
Important Changes in Linux 3.7
Important Changes in Linux 3.8
Important Changes in Linux 3.9
Although the kernel is largely decoupled from the rest of your system, and running the latest kernel can yield performance or battery life improvements, I do not recommend that you build it unless there are newer features you really need. You will be responsible for keeping up with the latest stable kernel from kernel.org so you stay secure. You will also need to have ~2 hours available to build the kernel each time. (This time estimate can vary greatly depending on the power of your machine and disk I/O speed.) That is not to say that it is horribly difficult or completely unworkable, but be aware of what you are getting into ahead of time.
If you are interested in keeping track of the current kernel version in each repository, that information is available on the left-hand side of the Debian Linux (source) QA page under the "versions" heading. The latest stable kernel will be uploaded to Wheezy Backports once the Debian Kernel Team gets it to run on all architectures. The plan was for 3.8 to be migrated to Testing (which is a prerequisite for it appearing in Wheezy Backports), but that kernel had too many regressions (also reported upstream), so it was blocked. Currently 3.9 is in much better shape, but it is still failing to build on the armel architecture. The Debian Kernel Team is working hard to stablize mainline so it will work on all architectures, and the results look promising for 3.10. Unfortunately not many distributions support the number of architectures Debian does, so when Debian freezes (like the Wheezy release freeze we just came out of a few weeks ago) the QA on lesser-used architectures goes down and regressions are often introduced upstream. Once the latest kernel is in Wheezy Backports, you can install it like this:
sudo apt-get install -t wheezy-backports linux-imageGo to the full post