Wikipedia says that current Debian 8.2 Jessie is based on kernel 3.16.0, so I was wondering when a native version based on kernel 4.x would be released and if the live kernel patching will be there as feature with the 4.x.

I searched for a Debian roadmap on Google, but I found nothing about the kernel.

  • FYI: Kernel 4.2.6 is currently (2015-11) in Debian/testing and Debian/unstable. – Dubu Nov 20 '15 at 9:53

While it is still not a given, officially most probably the last quarter of 2016, with the release of Debian 9. In the meanwhile, you can start using testing, compile it yourself or using a version compiled by someone else. I am using armbian in a Raspberry Pi like-device (Lamobo R1), which is Jessie, and using a v4.x put together by the armbian guys. On my Intel servers at work I plan to go soon to v4 too with Debian 8.


If you need live-patching, you can try the 4.x Linux kernels from http://backports.debian.org/. However, you probably need to create the live patches by yourself or use third-party patches.

Backport-packages are usually taken from Debian testing and re-compiled for the current stable (jessie).

  • Nice solution thank you, yes indeed my guess is have an auto update linux with automatic kernel patching ;) – user3450548 Nov 19 '15 at 14:23
  • thanks for remembering it, I came here again to add this tidbit to my answer, and you had it already here. – Rui F Ribeiro Nov 19 '15 at 14:27
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    However, the Debian kernel team did not promise to create live patches accompanying the regular kernel updates, as that would require a substantial amount of work and they're lacking manpower already. You can apply your own or third party patches, though. – Ferenc Wágner Nov 20 '15 at 8:00
  • @FerencWágner thanks, I extended the answer. – jofel Nov 20 '15 at 8:31

Debian 9 "Stretch" will be released with Linux 4.9. The Stretch repositories (testing) now have Linux 4.9.

Live kernel patching may be possible, the kpatch tool is in the Stretch repository. However, the Debian kernel team might not necessarily provide the necessary patch files.

The original plan as of 2016-03-03 was to release with Linux 4.10 -- its release plan was stretched by two months (groan) to allow this. However, on 2016-08-13 it was decided that Stretch will release with Linux 4.9 LTS since it is the Linux kernel LTS release.

  • Interesting, please update your answer as well as more info will become available. – user3450548 Oct 13 '16 at 8:18

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