How to Install Linux Kernel 5.14 on AlmaLinux 8

Linux kernel 5.14 is out with many new features, support, and security. The Linux 5.14 kernel release has gone through seven release candidates over the last two months and benefits from the contributions of 1,650 different developers. Those that contribute to Linux kernel development include individual contributors and prominent vendors like Intel, AMD, IBM, Oracle, and Samsung.

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Kernel 5.14 New Features

There is quite an extensive list of changes for 5.14; some include:

  • AMD Smart Shift laptops.
  • AMD SFH support for light sensor and human presence detection with newer AMD Ryzen laptops.
  • ACPI Platform Runtime Mechanism (allows moving some system management interrupt handlers out of the system management mode and into OS/VMM execution context).
  • Core-scheduling interface to help mitigate user-space to user-space and user-to-kernel attacks.
  • Dell Hardware Privacy laptop support.
  • Flash-Friendly File System read-only mode.
  • Faster XMM hypercalls for Hyper-V guests.
  • Intel P-State for hybrid processors for Alder Lake.
  • Raspberry Pi 400 support.
  • Support for Intel Alder Lake P graphics.
  • Microsoft Xbox One Controller select/share button support.
  • memfd_secret is a system call that provides the ability to create memory areas that are visible only in the context of the owning process (and are not mapped by other processes or even the kernel page tables).
  • Qualcomm Adreno 660 GPU support.

To see more, visit the kernel changelog.

Prerequisites

  • Recommended OS: AlmaLinux 8.
  • User account: A user account with sudo privilages or root access (su command).

Updating Operating System

Update your AlmaLinux operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status. To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@localhost ~]$ sudo whoami
root

If you have not set up a sudo user account and would like to, visit our tutorial on How to Add a User to Sudoers on AlmaLinux.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.

su
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Import and Install ELRepo & GPG Key

The first step is to import the repository from ELREPO from the ELRepo project. This has the latest available kernel or the LTS version with regular updates, so the repository to maintain to receive updates as soon as they are released.

First, import the GPG key to verify the installation package:

sudo rpm --import https://www.elrepo.org/RPM-GPG-KEY-elrepo.org

Next, install the repository, use the following command:

sudo dnf install https://www.elrepo.org/elrepo-release-8.el8.elrepo.noarch.rpm

Example output:

How to Install Linux Kernel 5.14 on AlmaLinux 8

Type “Y”, then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed.

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Install Kernel 5.14

With the repository and GPG imported, you can now install the latest 5.14 kernel using either the short time mainline or long-term support LTS as follows.

To install the latest mainline kernel:

sudo dnf --enablerepo=elrepo-kernel install kernel-ml kernel-ml-devel kernel-ml-headers

Example output:

How to Install Linux Kernel 5.14 on AlmaLinux 8

Type “Y”, then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed.

To install the latest long-term support kernel (LTS):

sudo dnf --enablerepo=elrepo-kernel install kernel-ml kernel-ml-devel kernel-lt-headers

Now reboot your AlmaLinux 8 system; during the boot window with kernels to choose from, select kernel 5.14.

sudo reboot

Example:

How to Install Linux Kernel 5.14 on AlmaLinux 8

Once back in your system, verify the kernel and build:

uname -r

Example output:

5.14.1-1.el8.elrepo.x86_64

Congratulations, you have installed the latest 5.14 kernel on your AlmaLinux 8 operating system.

How to Update 5.14 Kernel

To keep your kernel 5.14 up to date, you will use the dnf update command just like updating the rest of your AlmaLinux system, given you have imported the ELRepo repository.

To check for updates:

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

Remember, for any kernel updates, and you will need to reboot your system:

sudo reboot

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to install the latest 5.14 kernel on your AlmaLinux. Note, if your system is a production server, it would be advised to use the existing kernel that ships with AlmaLinux for the most stability. However, for those wanting to try kernel 5.14, you can certainly swap back to previous kernels quite easily in the boot menu, so giving it a try isn’t a bad idea, especially if you got new hardware that isn’t supported by AlmaLinuxs kernel.

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