How to Easily Upgrade Ubuntu’s Linux Kernel With Ukuu

Tips on How to Easily Upgrade Ubuntu’s Linux Kernel With Ukuu

Manually upgrading the Linux kernel is not a simple feat — it requires a fair amount of knowledge.We’ve covered how to do it before, but if you’d rather get the latest and greatest without the fuss, and you’re running Ubuntu, you might appreciate a more automatic solution in the form of Ukuu. Okay, here are some tips on how to easily upgrade Ubuntu’s Linux Kernel With Ukuu. Get!

What Is Ukuu?

Ukuu (short for Ubuntu Kernel Update Utility) makes updating your Ubuntu kernel much easier to perform. It downloads newer kernels from the internet, and changes your system to let it use them. All you really have to do is choose which kernel you’d like and reboot into it.

ubuntu kernels

Traditionally, updating your kernel means installing a new copy of Ubuntu over your old Linux box. If you repeat your installation experience a couple of times, you’ll see how it can eat up some time. Ukuu makes this process as easy as installing a program from the Ubuntu Software Center.

Getting Ukuu

Enter these commands in the terminal to install Ukuu:

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

You can’t get Ukuu by default from the list of software that Ubuntu provides. As such, using the above command, we point our package manager to the desired repository. Adding such locations lets us install software that Ubuntu doesn’t have by default (such as Ukuu).

apt add repository

sudo apt-get update

Package managers (such as APT), work by retrieving a list of all the software that they can install. The second command ensures that this list is up to date. Put shortly, if you don’t enter this command, you won’t be able to find Ukuu!

apt get update

sudo apt-get install ukuu

The above command actually downloads and installs the program. Alternatively, you could open the Ubuntu Software Center, and install Ukuu from there. After all that, launch the program using the command below.


You can also open Ukuu by searching for it in Dash.

Installing a Kernel With Ukuu

Ukuu will present the newest kernels at the top of the window. You’ll also be able to see what kernel version you’re running, so you don’t have to worry about checking it elsewhere. After selecting your desired kernel version, click on the install button to start the process.

ukuu main

The terminal window you’ll see shows the kernel installation process. Make sure you know your administrator password — you might have to enter it in!

Downgrading the Kernel

You may encounter a few problems if you upgrade your kernel to the bleeding edge. For example, when I upgraded it to the latest version (4.9), my wireless connection stopped working. However, unless you rely on proprietary drivers like my laptop, this is unlikely to happen.

Even if you don’t encounter any problems, it’s good to know how to downgrade to your previous kernel just in case. By default, Ubuntu does not give you the ability to choose which kernel you’d like to boot from. We can rectify this by editing this file:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

grub advanced

Once you’re inside the file, add a # in front of the GRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT andGRUB_HIDDEN_TIMEOUT_QUIET entries. Next, press Ctrl + X to save your changes. To make these changes actually do something however, you need to enter this command:

sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

When you reboot your computer, you’ll see a boot menu. Using the arrow keys, you can navigate to the Advanced options for Ubuntu entry. Select this to see the list of installed kernels you can boot into.

I strongly recommend doing this if you’re interested in getting the latest version of the Linux kernel. It’ll definitely make accidental mistakes much easier to fix.

Cleaning Up

Once you’ve booted into your upgraded (or downgraded) Linux box, and made sure that everything works, feel free to remove any leftover kernels for some extra space. Simply open up Ukuu and hit the Remove button.

Afterwards, run this command to clean up any remaining empty boot options:

sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

update grub

With that all done, enjoy your new and improved kernel!