Linux kernel is like the core of the operating system. It’s a piece of software that works as a middle interface between the hardware and the OS. As with every passing day, some new hardware support is added into the kernel and some existing hardware support is improved. This makes updating to the latest kernel highly beneficial, as you get better hardware support and sometimes also more efficiency.
Latest kernel also brings patches and security updates that are detected after the last release. If you are running a Linux operating system, its always a good idea to update the system to latest kernel. Do you have a older PC lying around here are the best Linux distros to bring a new life to your PC.
How to install latest Kernel in Ubuntu
Open a terminal by pressing Alt + Ctrl + T or by searching for terminal is search bar. Then in terminal execute the command below.
This will show your current Linux version and the output should be similar to the output below.
Now to update the kernel you need to follow the instructions below.
First let’s update repositories by executing the command below.
sudo apt-get update
This command refreshes the list of software, making a note of newer revisions and updates. If there is a newer version of kernel available this command will also take a note of it and will mark it for download and installation.
Begin the Linux kernel update
Now to upgrade, execute the below command in terminal.
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
This above “dist-upgrade” asks Ubuntu to handle dependencies smartly. That is if a particular software package is dependent on another package to run, then this command will make sure the the dependent package is installed first then only the other package is updated or installed.
This method is a highly safe method to upgrade kernel on Ubuntu and other Ubuntu based distros. The kernel updates available through this method are tested and verified to work with your installed Ubuntu OS version. Therefore this is safe method to update kernel on your Linux, specially if you don’t know much about it.
The Graphical method to Install latest Kernel on Linux
You can also update to the latest available kernel version, even if that version has not been tested with your version of Linux. And to this you only need to install this graphical interface and then you can always install latest kernel version from this software.
To install this software Ukuu open terminal and execute the below commands one by one.
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:teejee2008/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ukuu
These command will first add the ukuu repository on your system and then the last command will install ukuu on your system.
Now you can launch Ukku from search panel or by executing the command below.
Now in this Ukuu utility you should see the latest version of kernel available. Just click Install on any latest version that you would like to install. And after installation is complete reboot the system. This completes installation of the latest kernel.
But there is a risk with this procedure, as the latest kernel version might not always work with your system. If this happens system will not boot after restart. In such cases GRUB or your boot utility should have an copy of your old kernel to boot from. Just at the boot screen, click on Advance boot options and select the older kernel version to boot from.
Uninstalling installed kernel on Linux
If you are not satisfied with the latest kernel and its causing some issues like heating or glitches then you can easily uninstall it. Again open the Ukuu utility, click remove beside the installed kernel.
These are the two most popular methods to install latest kernel on your system. If you want tried and tested kernel for stability then you should only choose the first method. But if you want the latest and greatest even at the compromise of stability then the second option is for you.