You Can Now Install Linux Kernel 5.18 on Ubuntu and Ubuntu-Based Distributions

Linux Kernel 5.18 Ubuntu

Linux kernel 5.18 is here and users of Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distributions can now install it if they need support for their hardware or just want to use some of its new features and enhancements.

Linux kernel 5.18 brings lots of goodies for GNU/Linux users, including support for new features in AMD and Intel CPUs, improved support for NVMe devices, new and improved security features to protect you against the latest threats, as well as new and updated drivers for top-notch hardware support.

Ubuntu is one of those distributions that do not receive a newer kernel version when a new stable branch is available. Interim Ubuntu releases stick to the kernel version that they shipped with, so users might want to upgrade the kernel to newer releases if they need additional hardware support.

But why upgrade the 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, in case your hardware doesn’t work as expected, or you need one or more of the new features in the latest kernel, it is recommended to upgrade.

Now, in the case of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish), which is a long-term supported release that, in time, will receive newer kernel and graphics stacks, I do NOT recommend upgrading to an interim kernel branch, such as Linux 5.18. For now, it is better to stick to the Linux 5.15 kernel that it ships with, which will receive updates until at least the end of October 2023.

On the other hand, if you’re using Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri), which ships with Linux kernel 5.13, you could upgrade the kernel to Linux 5.18 following the tutorial below. But, considering the fact that Ubuntu 21.10 will reach end-of-life on July 14th, 2022, it might not be worth your time.

How to install Linux kernel 5.18 on Ubuntu via CLI

Installing a newer kernel version in Ubuntu via CLI is not exactly the easiest of things. You will need to download the Linux 5.18 kernel packages from Canonical’s mainline Ubuntu kernel PPA archive and then install them manually from the Terminal app by running a couple of commands.

A warning about these kernel packages is that they’re not signed, which means that they cannot be installed on UEFI/Secure Boot systems if Secure Boot is enabled. So if you want to use Secure Boot, stop reading here!

The Linux 5.18 packages for supported Ubuntu releases and other Ubuntu-based distributions available in the Ubuntu kernel PPA archive are built for 64-bit (amd64), AArch64 (ARM64), ARMHf, PPC64el (PowerPC 64-bit Little Endian), and s390x (IMB System z) architectures, so download only the ones for your system!

MANDATORY packages for 64-bit systems:

OPTIONAL packages for 64-bit systems if you're building special kernel modules:

Downloaded these packages in a folder on your Home directory and then 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 ~/Linux518), and run the command below to install Linux 5.18.

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Wait until the installation process is complete and then reboot your computer.

How to install Linux kernel 5.18 on Ubuntu via GUI

The easiest method of installing Linux kernel 5.18 in Ubuntu or an Ubuntu-based distribution, especially for newcomers, is via GUI (Graphical User Interface) by using the Mainline tool, which you can install from the cappelikan PPA by running the commands below in the Terminal app.

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

Once Mainline is installed, fire it up from the applications menu and install Linux kernel 5.18. The best part of using this method is that you’ll get notifications when newer Linux 5.18 versions are available (e.g. 5.18.1, 5.18.2, etc.), so you won’t have to manually check the Ubuntu kernel PPA archive and download the packages again and again.

Last updated 2 years ago

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