How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Linux kernel 5.16 is out with many new features, support, and security. The Linux 5.16 kernel release has a great new featured FUTEX2, or futex_watv(), which aims to improve the Linux gaming experience, growing considerably with better native Linux porting for games running Windows by 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 Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

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Prerequisites

  • Recommended OS: Ubuntu 20.04 or higher
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.

Update Operating System

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

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -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@ubuntu ~]$ sudo whoami
root

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

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

su

The tutorial will utilize the terminal interface, which can be found in the show applications menu.

Example:

How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Option 1. Install Linux Kernel 5.16 with PPA

Import TuxInvader PPA

The first option to install the Linux 5.16 kernels is to install the ppa:tuxinvader/lts-mainline by TuxInvader. This has some of the most up-to-date 5.16, and the previous 5.15 kernel builds and is often updated regularly.

The drawback is this is an untrusted PPA and not an official release by the Pop!_OS or Ubuntu official teams, but given the history of the PPA, it is safe as any other reputable PPA. You should not be installing this on a sensitive or production-type system anyway.

First, install the LTS Mainline Tuxinvader PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tuxinvader/lts-mainline -y

Once installed, update your repository list.

sudo apt update

Next, proceed to the installation of the Linux Kernel. Make sure at this point any sensitive documents are backed up just in case of anything going wrong.

Install Linux Kernel 5.16 from Tux PPA

Next, install the 5.16 generic Linux kernel drivers by executing the following command.

sudo apt-get install linux-generic-5.16 -y

Once complete, you will need to reboot your system for the new kernel to be fully activated.

reboot

Once logged back into your system, run the following command to confirm the new kernel version is running.

sudo uname -r

Example output:

5.16.0-051600-generic
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Option 2. Install Linux Kernel from Ubuntu Mainline

The second option is to install the Linux Kernel is to download the .deb package from the Ubuntu mainline repository manually. This works well, but you will need to make sure you keep the maintenance up when new updates arise by manually re-installing the new kernel packages.

First, visit the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel Repository and find the latest version, available is AMD64, ARM64, ARMHf, ppc64el, and s390x. The most common will be AMD64 for most users.

Example:

How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Next, download the required packages using the wget command.

Example (ONLY DO NOT USE):

Required:

wget https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v5.16/amd64/linux-image-unsigned-5.16.0-051600-generic_5.16.0-051600.202201092355_amd64.deb
wget https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v5.16/amd64/linux-modules-5.16.0-051600-generic_5.16.0-051600.202201092355_amd64.deb

Optional Extras:

wget https://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v5.16/amd64/linux-headers-5.16.0-051600_5.16.0-051600.202201092355_all.deb

The required packages are what they mean, and you need to download those to install the Linux Kernel. The optional extras include support for DKMS modules and can be recommended to install for Desktop users.

Next, in the folder, you downloaded the new Linux Kernel packages, give the packages executable permission using the following blanket command.

sudo chmod +x *.deb

Now begin the installation using the dpkg -i command.

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Example output:

How to Install Linux Kernel 5.16 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

Once complete, you will need to reboot your system for the new kernel to be fully activated.

reboot

Once logged back into your system, run the following command to confirm the kernel version is running.

sudo uname -r

Example output:

5.16.0-051600-generic

And that’s it; you have successfully installed the latest Linux Kernel 5.16.

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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 Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa Desktop 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. Make sure for the users that manually install the .deb packages keep checking for updates.

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