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On Wheezy I am using the current backports kernel, which I set up via

# echo "deb http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian wheezy-backports main" > \
    /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wheezy-backports.list
# apt-get update
# apt-get -t wheezy-backports install linux-image-amd64 linux-headers-amd64

Likewise, I am currently running with a 3.14 kernel.

Now, when I do a regular apt-get update && apt-get upgrade, I am offered the following:

The following packages will be upgraded:
  *** *** linux-image-3.2.0-4-amd64

Is that expected behavior? Am I required to deny this when I want to keep the 3.14 kernel? How to permanently make aptitude ignore the canonical kernel package and to only follow backports (either I am running the backports kernel or I am not, switching between them as aptitude wishes does not make sense).

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Using a command like apt-get -t wheezy-backports is useful for a one-time install. The next time the meta-package linux-image-amd64 is updated it will want to attempt the new package.

Letting it install won't hurt anything. Debian based systems will generally default to booting to the kernel with the newest version number. The wheezy package will be a lower version than the package you get from the wheezy-backports repository.

Really you should configure pinning so you get the correct updates.

To pin the kernel and related package I use a file like this. /etc/apt/preferences.d/kernel

Package: linux-*
Pin: release a=wheezy-backports
Pin-Priority:600

Package: initramfs-tools
Pin: release a=wheezy-backports
Pin-Priority:600

Package: firmware-linux*
Pin: release a=wheezy-backports
Pin-Priority:600
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  • Thanks. For further clarification: apt-get update also hits http://ftp.de.debian.org wheezy-backports/main amd64 Packages/DiffIndex. But, are you saying that without pinning or without using apt-get upgrade -t wheezy-backports, I will not be notified about kernel updates from backports? Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 10:41

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