How/when does the kernel version roll forward?

I'm a longtime Ubuntu user, but about to be a brand new Manjaro user. I'm about to receive a Thinkpad T16s from work, and I'll need a newer kernel to make it work than the stock one in Ubuntu 20.04. The more I read about Manjaro's rolling model, the more I like it. I've installed Manjaro in a VM on my current machine, and have been playing around with it. It's great.

I'll be switching the kernel from the default one up to 5.8rc??... whatever is available at the time. My understanding is that as Manjaro receives updates, the kernel will continue to incrementally update to new versions of 5.8. That's great. My question: what happens regarding kernel 5.9? Will my setup eventually automatically upgrade to 5.9 when it is stable? Or, by manually choosing 5.8, am I then "stuck" on 5.8 and will have to manually make a move to 5.9 eventually?

Or, to say it differently, I don't understand at all what Manjaro's model is regarding kernel updates. Is one "pegged" to a particular kernel version unless one changes it? Or does one "ride the kernel train" and get updates to new dot releases as they come? Or are both possible, and configurable by a setting somewhere?

Thanks for the info, much appreciated.

You wont automatically switch kernels.
Kernels are like any other package, as you noted, 5.8 will keep getting its updates .. but to switch to 5.9 it would require some interaction, such as by using MSM or mhwd-kernel.
There are also a few tools that are handy for this ... there is msm-notifier .. which should alert you to new available kernels.
There is also packages like linux-lts which will always keep you on the most recent LTS kernel.
And linux-latest which is a package that will automatically nab any newer kernel.

By the way ... if newer kernel is absolutely necessary for your machine .. you might be best using Manjaro Architect for a CLI-Installation that allows you to choose system kernel, packages, etc.

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