How to Install Linux Kernel 5.8 on Ubuntu and Linux Mint

Linux kernel 5.8 on Ubuntu

In this tutorial you will learn how to install Linux kernel 5.8 on the Ubuntu or Linux Mint operating systems.

Linux kernel 5.8 was officially launched last week and it’s the most advanced kernel available to date for Linux-based operating systems. As with all new kernel releases, Linux 5.8 brings lots of updated and new drivers, which usually translates to better hardware support.

While rolling release operating systems like Arch Linux and openSUSE Tumbleweed adopt a new Linux kernel series shortly after its release, static distros like Ubuntu and Linux Mint don’t get major kernel upgrades, at least not every time a new kernel branch is out and only every six months for LTS (Long-Term Support) releases.

Why install Linux kernel 5.8? No particular reason, but if you are experiencing issues with some of your hardware components, and you find out that there’s a new kernel version out there that supports your hardware, why not give it a try, after all you can always revert to the original kernel packages of your distro.

Fair warning

Keep in mind though that the kernel is the most important part of an Linux-based operating system, so you should not play with it if you’re on a production system. It’s better to stick with the official kernel packages offered for your distro as they are updated regularly with security patches and various other changes backported from newer kernel versions.

Another problem when using the mainline kernels available in Ubuntu’s repositories is that they are unsigned, which means that they can’t be installed on UEFI/Secure Boot systems when Secure Boot is enabled. Therefore, you will have to disable Secure Boot to install these kernels.

Also, be aware of the fact that some third-party kernel modules you might have installed, such as for Nvidia, AMD or Broadcom drivers, will have to be reinstalled, but only if they’re supported by Linux kernel 5.8. Check first to see if there’s Linux 5.8 support for your proprietary drivers before proceeding, and remember that there are no automatic updates when new versions are available, so you’ll have to manually update the kernel and rebuilt your modules whenever a new release is out. You have been warned!

How to install Linux kernel 5.8 on Ubuntu and Linux Mint

If you still want to install Linux kernel 5.8 on your Ubuntu or Linux Mint computer, please follow the next steps. First, you’ll have to download the following packages on your Home directory if your computer is 64-bit.

If you want to install Linux kernel 5.8 on a 32-bit, ARM64, ARMhf, IBM System Z (s390x) or PowerPC (ppc64el) system, or you need the low-latency kernel flavor, check this link for more specific packages.

Now, open a terminal emulator in the folder where you’ve download the new kernel packages by right clicking on an empty space and selecting the “Open in Terminal” option, and run the following commands. Make sure you don’t have other .deb packages in that folder but the ones above.

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

If the new kernel packages have been installed successfully and no errors were prompted, you should now reboot your computer. When you get back to your session, you can check the kernel you’re running by executing the uname -r command in the Terminal app. That’s it!

I’ve tested this guide with success on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) and Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana, but it should work with older Ubuntu or Linux Mint releases, as well as official and unofficial derivatives too.

Uninstalling Linux kernel 5.8

To revert to the official kernel package, either hit the Esc key during boot and select the original kernel from the Advanced options entry or simply uninstall the three kernel packages you’ve installed using this tutorial. Happy hacking!

Last updated 4 years ago

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