I am quite new to Linux and Debian. I really like the fact that apt can be used to upgrade both software and system packages at the same time. Much better than Windows.

However, I am baffled about one thing. I currently have kernel version 5.10.0-19-amd64. When I run sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade, apt suggests me an upgrade to the SAME kernel version. I already once accepted that upgrade and it messed up my touchpad settings - KDE Plasma kept forgetting my touchpad settings and when I tried to change those settings, it kept reverting them back. I had this same problem with Debian 10 and it drove me crazy. I've put that package on hold but still it would be nice to know why this is happening.

Current kernel version Apt suggesting me to upgrade to the same kernel version that I already have

1 Answer 1


I take it you’re surprised that the linux-image-5.10.0-19-amd64 package gets upgrades, even though it seems to contain a version number in its name (and one could therefore expect upgraded kernels to get new version numbers and thus new package names).

The reason is that the version in the package name doesn’t reflect the exact kernel version; it reflects the kernel ABI, which is an indication of compatibility. Briefly put, it says that the kernel provides the capabilities of a “baseline” 5.10.0 kernel, and is compatible with any kernel component built with the 19th iteration of that kernel series in Debian. Debian Linux kernel ABI versioning has more details.

Debian 11 kernels come from the 5.10 series, and the kernel packages are bumped when a new kernel is released in that series (or every few kernels). The ABI level, currently 19, is only bumped when changes are introduced which require modules to be rebuilt. In the 19 level, there have been three releases so far: 5.10.148-1, 5.10.149-1, and 5.10.149-2. You would therefore be liable to see two upgrades after the first was installed.

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