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Please update the kernel in 2.20

asked 2018-03-07 21:57:16 +0300

L_A_G gravatar image

updated 2018-03-08 10:29:49 +0300

nadir gravatar image


This has already been requested in the past (, but now that 2.1.4 has come out without a newer kernel or any communication from Jolla indicating that an update to a newer kernel is one is even on the roadmap I feel it necessary to bring this up again.

The current kernel, 3.10.83, is not only an out-of-date version of an old LTS kernel (originally released in June 2013), the LTS kernel in question reached reached it's final EoL (End of Life) date in the first days of November last year. It's maintainer has since insisted that everyone move to a newer kernel and this was before the Meltdown and Specter vulnerabilities were revealed to the public. For those not familiar with Specter and the Xperia X, the ARM Cortex A72 cores used in it have been confirmed to be vulnerable to variants 1 and 2 of Specter. Thus it's it's genuinely important that SailfishOS move on to a newer kernel version ASAP.

As for the actual work necessary to get this done, at least on the Xperia X Sony has completed most of the work necessary trough their AOSP initiative and released that to the public, meaning that it shouldn't be too big of a job to get it done.

It's not just the improvements in things scheduling for big.Little setups found in 4.4, sticking to a kernel from June 2013 that reached EoL months ago is a genuine security risk. With the government and corporate contracts Jolla has been trying to get, it's not just us consumers that need to insist Jolla do something about this.

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android-kernel 3.10 as used in jolla-devices is not EOL and kernel-3.10.83 sees security fixes like 3.4.108-x in jolla1. Feel free to post vulnerabilities&fixes like I do.
JollaC & inoi devices are bound to kernel 3.10. Maintaining 3 different kernels (3.4-sbj 3.10-jollaC-inoi and 4.4-Xperia) is a huge task for a small team like jolla. Spectre is not the biggest risk to fear, by far...

lpr ( 2018-03-07 23:37:46 +0300 )edit

@lpr Ummm... 3.10 is most definitely EoL and that's been by confirmed Willy Tarreau, the person who maintains, or rather maintained, that kernel series in question. Sure, maintaining multiple kernel versions at the same time is a large amount of work, but so is having to backport security fixes yourself because the kernel series has stopped being maintained. I also can't see any real reason why other devices can't upgrade to a more recent kernel version as well.

Here's a news article on the subject:

Here's the maintainer himself writing about it reaching EoL status:

L_A_G ( 2018-03-08 00:35:06 +0300 )edit

as said, you are talking about mainline kernel... android kernel 3.10 still fixed by greg kroah-hartmann (for google). And jolla devices are using android-kernel with additional gnu/linux stuff switched on in compile-options
Other devices can't update because of binary-only closed source qualcomm modem drivers (gpu would work with freedreno, but you would have to change aliendalvik as well and still have no network)

lpr ( 2018-03-08 00:48:27 +0300 )edit

Shame on all manufacturers that don't use mainline kernel. It is a horrible mess.

johanh ( 2018-03-08 14:38:08 +0300 )edit

The 3.10 kernel is also the base version of kernel used in RHEL 7, but I'm not sure what implications this has to the Jolla/Android 3.10 kernel.

MartinK ( 2018-03-09 10:51:08 +0300 )edit

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answered 2018-03-08 10:45:45 +0300

updated 2018-03-08 10:46:25 +0300

It is 4.4 already it is 4.4 already

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That is the XA2 device. The lowest kernel version you get for it is 4.4. Sadly every arm device needs a special different kernel. (blame the manufacturers) The Xperia X kernel is stuck at 3.10 currently and I don't have high hopes for Jolla to update it to 4.4.

leszek ( 2018-03-08 12:22:27 +0300 )edit

If XA2 is @4.4 already, maybe it would make more sense to use this kernel release for all Sailfish X devices. it would be one kernel less to worry about (ie 3.10 fot Sony Xperia X)

Xeno_PL ( 2018-03-08 13:16:15 +0300 )edit

@leszek Well, there is now the device tree mechanism (that's how Fedora supports many different ARM boards with a single kernel) and some aarch64 device (often SBSA certified) even have EFI firmware pretty similar to what you would fine on a modern X86 PC. But indeed, I'm afraid I don't know of any ARM smartphone using either.

MartinK ( 2018-03-09 23:42:26 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2018-03-07 21:57:16 +0300

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Last updated: Mar 08