Here are two ways to install the latest mainline Kernel in Ubuntu and Linux Mint.
Ubuntu releases (including LTS) and Linux Mint usually ships stable mainline Linux Kernel, whichever is available before the change freeze during the development phase. Ubuntu short-term releases feature almost the latest Kernel. The long-term version of Ubuntu and Linux Mint offers the mainline LTS Kernel. The LTS Kernel usually is pretty old and doesn’t support the latest fixes and hardware support.
Hence, you may want to take advantage of the latest mainline Kernel without hampering your current Ubuntu or Linux Mint installation.
But installing the latest Kernel by replacing the current distro-provided one is risky. If you are sure what you are doing, then you can follow the below steps.
Install the latest Kernel using Mainline (A GUI Tool)
If you are old times in the Linux world, you must have heard about “ukuu“. It is an excellent utility for the same purpose, but now it is “pay to use”.
The official open-source fork of ukuu is “Mainline“. It enables you to install a list of “mainline” Linux kernels with just one click.
In addition, you can also uninstall and purge old Kernels or install Kernels as well.
Here’s how to install it.
Open a terminal and add the following PPA in Ubuntu or Linux Mint.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cappelikan/ppa
Then refresh your system and install “Mainline” using the below command.
sudo apt update
sudo apt install mainline
After installation, launch the “Mainline”.
The first time, it will take a few minutes to fetch all the available Kernels.
You can select a Kernel version from the list and hit Install to install it.
Here’s an example: I am downloading the 6.2.16 version to replace the LTS 5.15 Kernel in Linux Mint 21.1.
After successful installation, you should see the status as installed against the desired Kernel version.
A few things you should note:
- The installation may take some time, based on your internet speed.
- New kernel version may impact your WiFi or any hardware in your system. Use with caution.
- The installation requires admin privileges.
- Finally, the installation will replace GRUB and run the entire mkinitcpio.
Using the OEM Kernel
The Ubuntu OEM kernel is specifically tailored to meet the requirements of OEM hardware, ensuring compatibility, performance, and stability. It may include specific drivers or modifications necessary for the OEM’s hardware components to function optimally with Ubuntu. These modifications can include support for specialized hardware features, optimizations for power management, or bug fixes specific to the OEM’s devices.
The standard distribution releases don’t come with OEM Kernel. However, it’s available to install and provides the latest mainline Kernel version. The packages are named as “linux-oem-22.04” and usually follow the LTS versions.
The current OEM Kernel is linux-oem-22.04, which has mainline Kernel version 6.1.
You can also install this in Ubuntu or Linux Mint using the following command.
sudo apt install linux-oem-22.04
To learn more about OEM Kernels, visit this page.
In this tutorial, you learnt how easily you can install the latest mainline Kernel in Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Also, it’s very easy to remove it using the “Mainline” tool. But use caution while upgrading Kernels because of several compatibility issues.