How to Install HWE Kernel on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

In this guide, we will demonstrate how to install HWE Kernel on Ubuntu versions 22.04 and 20.04. The Hardware Enablement (HWE) Kernel is a significant tool for Ubuntu users, especially those seeking to harness the latest hardware capabilities on a stable and reliable platform. Ubuntu’s HWE Kernel bridges the gap between the long-term stability of an Ubuntu Long-Term Support (LTS) release and the cutting-edge features found in newer kernels.

Key Features of the HWE Kernel:

  • Enhanced Hardware Support: Regular updates for compatibility with the latest hardware.
  • Optimized Performance: Tuned to deliver improved system performance.
  • Extended Security: Regular patches and updates for enhanced security.
  • Increased Stability: Balances the latest features with the reliability of an LTS release.

This introduction sets the stage for a technical how-to article, walking through the steps of installing the HWE Kernel. The focus is on practicality and clarity, ensuring users can efficiently upgrade their system with the latest kernel improvements.

HWE Kernel Pre-Installation Steps

Verify the Existing Linux Kernel Version

To initiate the HWE Kernel installation on Ubuntu, it’s imperative to first determine the version of the Linux Kernel currently in use. This verification step is essential to decide if upgrading to the HWE Kernel is beneficial for your system.

Accessing the Terminal

Access the terminal by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T, or find the ‘Terminal’ application in your system’s menu. The terminal serves as a gateway to your system’s internals, allowing you to execute a variety of commands.

Executing the Kernel Version Command

In the terminal, type uname -r and hit Enter. This command is a straightforward way to query your system for its Linux Kernel version.

uname -r

Interpreting the Command Output

The command’s output is crucial for guiding your next steps. For example, on Ubuntu 22.04, an output like 5.15 LTS kernel indicates that your system is running an older Long-Term Support (LTS) version of the Kernel. In such scenarios, upgrading to an HWE (Hardware Enablement) Kernel is advisable. The HWE Kernel typically encompasses a newer Linux Kernel version (e.g., 6.x series), offering enhanced hardware support and improved features.

Install HWE Kernel for Ubuntu 22.04

Initiating the HWE Kernel Installation

To upgrade your Ubuntu 22.04, also known as Jammy Jellyfish, to the HWE (Hardware Enablement) Kernel, begin by opening your terminal. The terminal is a powerful tool that facilitates direct communication with your system’s core functionalities.

Running the Installation Command

In your terminal, execute the following command:

sudo apt install linux-generic-hwe-22.04

This command initiates the installation of the HWE Kernel. The sudo prefix grants you administrative privileges, ensuring the command executes with the necessary permissions. The apt install part signifies the action to install a package, and linux-generic-hwe-22.04 specifically targets the HWE Kernel package for Ubuntu 22.04.

Rebooting the System

After the installation completes, it’s crucial to reboot your system to apply the changes. Use the command:

sudo reboot

Rebooting allows your system to start up with the newly installed HWE Kernel, ensuring all changes take full effect.

Verifying the Kernel Installation

Checking the Installed Kernel Version

Once your system restarts, verify the installation by checking the kernel version. Open the terminal again and enter:

uname -r

This command, uname -r, queries your system and returns the current kernel version. After installing the HWE Kernel, you should see a version number that corresponds to the HWE series, confirming the successful upgrade.

Install HWE Kernel for Ubuntu 20.04

Installing HWE Kernel on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

Upgrading to the HWE Kernel on Ubuntu 20.04, also known as Focal Fossa, involves a straightforward process that starts with a simple terminal command.

Executing the Installation Command

Launch the terminal, a direct line to your system’s core, and input the following command:

sudo apt install linux-generic-hwe-20.04

This command initiates the installation of the HWE Kernel for Ubuntu 20.04. The sudo prefix is used to execute the command with administrative rights, essential for system-level changes. The apt install part of the command indicates the action of installing a package, and linux-generic-hwe-20.04 is the specific package for the HWE Kernel tailored for Ubuntu 20.04.

Rebooting for Kernel Activation

After the installation process is completed, a system reboot is necessary. This can be done using the command:

sudo reboot

Rebooting is a critical step, as it activates the newly installed HWE Kernel. It ensures that the system starts up with the latest kernel, integrating all the new enhancements and features.

Confirming the HWE Kernel Installation

Verifying the Kernel Upgrade

Post reboot, it’s important to confirm that the HWE Kernel installation was successful. Open the terminal again and execute:

uname -r

This command checks and displays the version of the kernel currently running on your system. Following the HWE Kernel installation on Ubuntu 20.04, the displayed version should align with the HWE Kernel series, confirming the upgrade’s success.

Revert From HWE Kernel on Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04

Understanding the Reversion Process

The process of reverting from the HWE (Hardware Enablement) Kernel to the standard kernel in Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04 is a critical task for system administrators. This action is typically undertaken for compatibility reasons or to align with specific organizational standards.

Preparing for Kernel Reversion

Before initiating the reversion, ensure that your system is currently running on the HWE Kernel. This can be verified by running uname -r in the terminal, which will display your current kernel version.

Executing the Reversion Command

Initiating Kernel Rollback

To begin the rollback process, open your terminal. Here, you’ll execute a series of commands to remove the HWE Kernel and revert to the standard kernel. The command varies slightly depending on your Ubuntu version.

For Ubuntu 22.04, use:

sudo apt remove linux-generic-hwe-22.04

For Ubuntu 20.04, use:

sudo apt remove linux-generic-hwe-20.04

These commands effectively remove the HWE Kernel package from your system. The sudo apt remove command is crucial as it ensures the safe and complete removal of the HWE Kernel, reverting your system to the standard kernel.

Finalizing the Reversion

After running the removal command, reboot your system with:

sudo reboot

A system reboot is necessary to apply these changes and to start your system with the standard kernel.

Confirming the Kernel Reversion

Verifying the Standard Kernel

Once your system restarts, verify the kernel version to ensure the reversion was successful. Open the terminal and run uname -r again. The output should now reflect the standard kernel version, confirming that your system has successfully reverted from the HWE Kernel.


In this guide, we’ve navigated through the essential steps of installing and managing the HWE Kernel on Ubuntu 22.04 and 20.04, along with instructions on reverting to the standard kernel when needed. Remember, regularly updating to the HWE Kernel can significantly enhance your system’s compatibility with the latest hardware and improve overall performance. However, always ensure that such updates align with your specific system requirements and stability needs. As you continue to work with Ubuntu, keep these tips in mind to maintain a robust and efficient computing environment.

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