The Linux kernel on Ubuntu is the core of the operating system. It is a mediator interface between the computer hardware and the software applications. As technology progresses, new patches are introduced in order to enhance the functionality, security, and speed of the operating system. We should, therefore, keep checking for kernel updates and upgrade to the one that suits us.

In this article, we will describe how a user can update Kernel to a newer version through the UKUU utility. This includes installing the software on your system and then downloading and updating your kernel through it. UKUU or Ubuntu Kernel Update Utility is used for installing mainline Linux kernels on Ubuntu-based distributions. It downloads and installs kernel packages from kernel.ubuntu.com.

We have run the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS system.

Please follow these steps in order to update your Linux kernel on Ubuntu:

Step 1: Get your current Kernel version

Before taking off to a new version, let us first see which kernel version we currently have running on our Ubuntu. Open your Ubuntu command line, the Terminal, either through the system Application Launcher search or the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut. Then enter the following command:

$ uname -r

The output prints your current kernel version, nothing less, nothing more.

Version of the installed Linux Kernel

Now that we know our kernel version, we are in a better position to decide which version we would like to update it to.

Step 2: Add the TeeJee PPA in order to install UKUU from

The UKUU utility is not available on the official Ubuntu repositories but the TeeJee PPA is where you will always find the latest version of UKUU. In your Terminal application, enter the following command as sudo in order to add the TeeJee PPA to your system:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:teejee2008/ppa

Add PPA Repository

Enter the password for sudo, after which the PPA repository will be added to your system.

Tip: Instead of typing the command, you can copy it from here and paste in the Terminal by using the Ctrl+Shift+V, or by using the Paste option from the right-click menu.

Step 3: Update local repository index

The next step is to update your system’s repository index through the following command:

$ sudo apt-get update

This helps you in installing the latest available version of a software from the Internet.

Update package lists

Step 4: Install UKUU through apt-get

Now that you are done with adding the PPA, use the following apt-get command as sudo in order to install UKUU to your system:

$ sudo apt-get install ukuu

Install Ukuu

The system might ask you the password for sudo and also provide you with a Y/n option to continue the installation. Enter Y and then hit enter; UKUU will then be installed on your system. The process may, however, take some time depending on your Internet speed.

You can verify which version is installed on your system by running the following command:

$ ukuu --version

Get Ukuu version

Step 5: Launch UKUU

Now, launch UKUU from the Ubuntu Application Launcher bar as follows, or directly access it from the applications listing:

Launch UKUU

You can also launch it by entering the following command in the Terminal:

$ ukuu-gtk

As you launch the software, it will start generating the list of all available kernels from the Internet.

UKUU Dashboard

This is how the list would look like:

List of available Linux Kernel versions

The latest available version, at the time of writing, was Linux 5.0.10. It is best to research a bit on what the kernel you want to upgrade to has to offer.

Step 6: Install and update to a newer kernel version

Select the kernel version you want to upgrade to from the list and then click the install button. The following authentication dialog will appear for you to provide your authentication details.

Get administrative privileges

Please note that only an authorized user can add/remove and configure software on Ubuntu. Enter your password and click the Authenticate button. The following window will open and you will see that UKUU will download and install the selected kernel on your system.

Installing new Linux Kernel

The process may take some time depending on your Internet speed. Once the downloading and installation is complete, you will be able to see a Close button at the bottom of the window.

Generating GRUB config

Click on the Close button. You might then be presented with the following dialog:

Booting Previous Kernels

Please read this information carefully as you might encounter one of the mentioned problems. Click OK after reading the way out if you face any such problem.

Step 7: Restart your system

In order for the new kernel to become operational, reboot your system.

Important: If you encounter a glitch at boot or after you log in, you can easily boot from an older kernel. Restart your system and press Shift at boot, a list will appear from which you can select an older kernel version to boot from.

Step 8: Verify current Kernel version

Now that you have booted to the newer kernel, run the following command in your Terminal application to verify that the newer version is actually running:

$ uname -r

Check new Kernel version

You are now successfully running a newer version of Linux kernel on your Ubuntu!

Update Linux Kernel on Ubuntu through UKUU