How to Install Linux Kernel 5.17 on Ubuntu 21.10

Linux 5.17 Ubuntu

Good news for Ubuntu users as they can now install the latest and greatest Linux 5.17 kernel series on their distributions, or a derivative system. Here’s how!

Released by none other than Linus Torvalds, Linux kernel 5.17 is here with lots of goodies and security fixes to make your Linux desktop and server experience safer, faster, and more reliable. It brings new features and better hardware support, so I bet there are many users out there who want to install it right now.

But why upgrade your Linux kernel if everything works fine? Well, the short answer is that you don’t have to upgrade the kernel in your system if all your hardware works as expected. But, if that’s not the case or you need one or more of the new features in Linux kernel 5.17, it is a welcome addition.

And the good news I want to share with you today is that you can install Linux 5.17 on your Ubuntu distribution, no matter the kernel version you’re currently using. Why a tutorial for installing a kernel? Well, while distributions like Arch Linux, openSUSE Tumbleweed, or Fedora Linux will receive Linux kernel 5.17 kernel through their software repositories, distros like Ubuntu will never receive it.

How to install Linux kernel 5.17 on Ubuntu via CLI

In this tutorial, I’m using the kernel packages from Canonical’s mainline Ubuntu kernel PPA archive. While these are official kernels built by the Ubuntu Kernel Team, they are not signed, which means that they cannot be installed on UEFI/Secure Boot systems if Secure Boot is enabled. Therefore, you will have to first disable Secure Boot to install Linux kernel 5.17.

The CLI installation is fairly easy, and all you have to do is to download the Linux 5.17 kernel packages by clicking on the links below or from the mainline Ubuntu kernel PPA above, for your architecture (e.g. amd64), in a folder on your Home directory.

Editor’s note: Packages are also available for ARM64, ARMHf, ppc64el, and s390x systems in the Ubuntu kernel PPA archive. The linux-headers package is needed when you have DKMS modules installed, such as a proprietary Wi-Fi driver.



After you’ve downloaded the Linux 5.17 kernel packages, you will need to open the Terminal app or access a virtual terminal (VT) using the Ctrl+Alt+F1-6 keys, navigate to the folder where you’ve downloaded the new kernel packages (e.g. cd ~/Downloads), and run the command below to install all the packages, assuming you don’t have any other .deb files in the respective folder.

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Running the command above will install the Linux 5.17 kernel on your Ubuntu distribution, so wait until the installation process is complete and then reboot your computer.

That’s it, you’re now running Linux kernel 5.17. Congrats! This tutorial was tested on an Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri) installation, but it should work fine on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa).

For me, everything worked fine after installing Linux 5.17, but if you encounter any issue, such as a boot failure or a boot loop, you can always revert to Ubuntu’s original kernel by accessing the boot menu during a restart with the Esc key. There, you’ll be able to select a different kernel version to boot your Ubuntu system.

This tutorial installs Linux kernel 5.17.0, so to upgrade to future point releases (e.g. Linux kernel 5.17.1, 5.17.2, etc.), you will have to manually download the new packages from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA Archive.

How to install Linux kernel 5.17 on Ubuntu using the Mainline tool

An alternative method of installing Linux kernel 5.17 in Ubuntu is by using the Mainline tool from the cappelikan PPA. Simply run the commands below in the Terminal app to install the Mainline tool in your Ubuntu distribution, and then run the application to install the latest available Linux 5.17 kernel packages.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cappelikan/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y mainline

With this method, you will be automatically notified when newer Linux 5.17 versions are available, which you’ll be then able to install with a single mouse click. In addition, the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel Installer will make it a lot easier to uninstall kernel packages in your Ubuntu system.

Last updated 2 years ago

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