When to update the Kernel and to which version? (Manjaro/Arch)

Previously, when I used to run Ubuntu, then Mint, when a Kernel update come through system updates, it was clear it was [fairly] safe to update the Kernel at that time.

Now I’m running Manjaro, which has a nice feature showing the latest Kernels and allows you to upgrade or fall back to the Kernel of your choosing.

So, my question is; does Manjaro prompt the update of the Kernel when they recommend it, or is it up to the end user to choose when to update manually?

Currently running 4.19, but I see there is 4.20 and the latest; 5.0 now available. After reading through some of the changelogs in the newer versions, I don’t see much benefit for my machine which is running hardware that’s a few years old. Or would there be any other reason I’m not seeing/considering to update to a newer version?

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Generally, software that is so heavily maintained over many years or even decades doesn’t require you to use the latest version. You could probably use Linux from 6 years ago without noticable difference. All the work that is being done now on the kernel is bug fixes, adding edge case coverage and enabling new features that come with new hardware. In terms of usability there probably won’t be any noticable improvement. If talking about such crucial things as the heart of any Linux OS, you probably shouldn’t fix it if it ain’t broke, except you want to experiment on purpose.


Manjaro is rolling release based on Arch but unlike Arch, everything is not immediately available to you without testing.

This is why Manjaro is more stable than other Arch variants and one of the main reasons why it has become so popular.


I upgraded the kernel once on Manjaro xfce and then my WiFi kept failing every 30 seconds. Thought about what had changed and switched back to the old kernel and problem solved. After that I felt if it isn’t broke don’t try to fix the kernel. :joy:


Probably you don’t needs of newest Linux kernel.
This majority of news kernels are bug fixes for motherboards
and chipsets, applicable for 2019 hardwares.You can stay
happy with your currently kernel 4.19 x64. :blush: