How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Rocky Linux 8

Linux kernel 5.16 has many new features, support, and security. The Linux 5.16 kernel release has a great new feature, FUTEX2, or futex_watv(), which aims to improve the Linux gaming experience, growing considerably with better native Linux porting for Windows games utilizing Wine.

Other improvements have seen write include improved write congestion management, task scheduler for CPU clusters sharing L2/L3 cache, amongst many other additions. More information can be found on the Linux 5.16 Kernel release changelog.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest 5.16 Linux Kernel on Rocky Linux 8 Workstation or Server.



  • Recommended OS: Rocky Linux 8.+.
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.
  • Internet Access

Update Operating System

Update your Rocky Linux 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@rockylinux ~]$ sudo whoami

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on How to Add a User to Sudoers on Rocky Linux.

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


For desktop users, the tutorial will utilize the terminal for the installation found in Activities > Show Applications > Terminal.


How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Rocky Linux 8

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 you do not need to compile kernels and install and upgrade using the dnf package manager.

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

sudo rpm --import

Next, install the repository, use the following command:

sudo dnf install

Example output:

How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Rocky Linux 8

Type Y, then press the ENTER KEY to proceed.


Install Latest Kernel 5.16

With the repository and GPG imported, you can now proceed with the installation which you will use the ELRepo mainline branch to install kernel 5.16.

To install the latest mainline support kernel (NON-LTS):

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

Example output:

How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Rocky Linux 8

Type Y, then press the ENTER KEY to proceed.

Now reboot your Rocky Linux system; during the boot window with the option of kernels to choose from, select kernel 5.16 if it isn’t already selected by default.



How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Rocky Linux 8

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

uname -r

Example output:


Alternative Kernels

For those that want different options besides the PPA or manually installing, check out the following custom kernel tutorials which often boast the latest Linux custom-built kernels.

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to install the latest 5.16 kernel on your Rocky Linux 8 Workstation or Servers. Note, if your system is a production server, it would be advised to use the existing kernel that ships the standard installation for the most stability.

However, for those wanting to try kernel 5.16, make sure to take backups as many jump ahead sometimes and regret the decision. Given Rocky Linux focuses on stability, the new kernel could introduce issues on systems that are in production-type scenarios.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x