How to get the latest Linux kernel on your Ubuntu box • The Register

For major subcomponents of Ubuntu – and its derivatives – you don’t have to wait for the next version to come out. You can update important parts on the fly.

Here at Vulture Towers we are working on a review of a machine with a 12th Gen Intel chip and this has caused problems in some Linux distributions. Back in 2021 we reported on kernel 5.16 work to add Alder Lake support. However, Ubuntu 22.04 LTS ships with kernel 5.15. The latest version 22.10 contains the outdated kernel 5.19, which you also get in the latest update to “Jammy”, 22.04.2.

Kubuntu 22.10 comes with kernel 5.19, which is already past its end of life

We had problems with our Alder Lake box on both April 22nd and October 22nd: flickering bands of noise across the screen under Wayland and slow, hesitant mouse pointer movement under X11. Newer distributions like openSUSE Tumbleweed didn’t have such problems with kernel 6.1 or 6.2. The good news is that it’s easy to upgrade just your kernel without the hassle of upgrading to a new version of the entire operating system… and kernel upgrades keep the previous version (until you run sudo apt autoremove, anyway), so if something doesn’t work properly, you can reboot into the old kernel and remove the new one. It’s pretty safe.

One option is to install a third-party kernel like Liquorix. This is straightforward, and alternative kernel builds like this or XanMod are performance-optimized for desktop use.

However, you can do this via the mainline PPA without leaving the relative security of Ubuntu itself. This is Ubuntu’s version of the current upstream kernel without the modifications Canonical normally makes. It works fine, and pretty much all programs shouldn’t notice any difference at all, but heed the warning on this page:

The steps are pretty simple and several websites will guide you through them. All you have to do is add the repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cappelikan/ppa

Update the package list as usual:

sudo apt update

Then install the new one mainline Tool that puts a user-friendly graphical wrapper around the choice of kernel to install:

sudo apt install mainline

Once it’s installed, run it from your app launcher – its full name is Ubuntu Mainline Kernel Installer – and you’ll be able to choose your desired kernel. It does the rest: download it, install it, add it to your GRUB boot menu, and then just reboot to try it out. In testing we found that all the 5.15 and 5.19 issues on our Alder Lake box are gone. X11 became perfectly smooth and all graphical glitches in Wayland disappeared. (Just for reference, they also did it with the Liquorix kernel and we couldn’t see any difference in performance.)

Presto, a few minutes later our (virtual) Kubuntu box is running the latest and greatest 6.2 kernel

If you don’t see a benefit, the mainline tool makes it easy to revert to a specific older version or back to the stock kernel if you prefer, and there are also installation guides in some of the tutorials.

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KDE Plasma

For the screenshots in this story, we chose Kubuntu to demonstrate another simple upgrade. KDE Plasma 5.27 is here and is expected to be the last version of the KDE 5.x series – KDE Plasma 6 should come out eventually, but it’s not yet clear when. Therefore, Plasma 5.27 is a long-term support version, so it is worth updating to it. If you don’t want to wait, you can install it on Kubuntu 22.10 now. The procedure is similar to how to install Plasma 5.25 on Kubuntu Jammy. Just add the kubuntu backports PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports

Then do a full upgrade however you normally prefer.

There’s also an experimental build for Kubuntu 22.04, although it’s not yet recommended for production use. However, we suspect that a more complete version is yet to come.

At least one Ubuntu remix, Tuxedo OS, already has it. We looked at Tuxedo OS 1.0 in October, and Tuxedo Computers has now released Tuxedo OS 2.0 with Kernel 6.1 and KDE Plasma 5.27 – so it can definitely be made to run on the basis of Ubuntu Jammy. If you’re willing to do a clean install, that’s an option available now. ®


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