The Liquorix kernel is a custom Linux kernel designed to provide an improved user experience for desktop users, with a focus on multimedia, gaming, and real-time applications. Built upon the Zen kernel, the Liquorix kernel comes with various tweaks and enhancements aimed at improving system performance and responsiveness. Debian desktop users can benefit from installing the Liquorix kernel over the default Debian Linux kernel due to several key features:
- Zen Interactive Tuning
- The Liquorix kernel is tuned for responsiveness at the cost of throughput and power usage, ensuring a smooth and interactive experience for desktop users.
- Optimized Block Layer and I/O Scheduler
- The Liquorix kernel replaces the default mq-deadline scheduler with the Budget Fair Queue (BFQ) scheduler, which is optimized for desktop usage, providing high throughput and low latency. Additionally, the Liquorix kernel disables DM-Crypt workqueues for better performance.
- Enhanced Virtual Memory Subsystem
- The Liquorix kernel includes improvements to the virtual memory subsystem, such as background-reclaim for huge pages, increased MG-LRU cache TTL, and adjustments to compact unevictable and proactive compaction settings.
- PDS/BMQ CPU Scheduler
- The Liquorix kernel features the PDS (Process Development Scheduling) and BMQ (BitMap Queue) CPU schedulers, which offer fair scheduling for gaming, multimedia, and real-time loads. The scheduling timeslice is also reduced to 2ms for better responsiveness.
- High-Resolution Scheduling and Preemptible RCU
- With a 1000Hz tick rate, the Liquorix kernel offers precise, low-jitter task scheduling. It also features a preemptible tree-based hierarchical RCU implementation suitable for real-time systems.
- Hard Kernel Preemption
- The Liquorix kernel provides aggressive kernel preemption, ensuring a responsive system under high-intensity mixed workload scenarios without requiring real-time patches.
- TCP BBR2 Congestion Control
- The Liquorix kernel implements the TCP BBR2 congestion control algorithm, which maximizes throughput and delivers higher speeds than the default Cubic algorithm.
- Compressed Swap and Multigenerational LRU
- Swap storage is compressed using LZ4 via zswap, and the Liquorix kernel employs an alternative LRU algorithm that performs better under high memory pressure and long uptimes.
- Binary Builds and Distribution Kernel Drop-in Replacement
- The Liquorix kernel offers binary builds for Debian Stable, Testing, and Unstable, as well as Ubuntu via the Liquorix PPA. It serves as a proper distribution kernel drop-in replacement with a broad selection of hardware support and paravirtualization options enabled to reduce overhead under virtualization.
In summary, the Liquorix kernel offers a multitude of benefits for Debian desktop users seeking an enhanced user experience, particularly for gaming, multimedia, and real-time applications. With its optimized performance, responsiveness, and various kernel improvements, it can provide a noticeable upgrade over the default Debian Linux kernel. The guide will demonstrate how to install the Liquorix kernel on your Debian 12 Bookworm, Debian 11 Bullseye, or Debian 10 Buster system.
Table of Contents
Section 1: Install Liquorix Kernel
Step 1: Update Debian
Before installing the Liquorix kernel, ensure your Debian operating system is up to date. This helps to prevent potential conflicts with existing packages. In your terminal, run the following command:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
This command first updates the package list (
sudo apt update) and then upgrades all installed packages to their latest versions (
sudo apt upgrade).
Step 2: Install Required Packages
To import and install the Liquorix kernel, some additional packages are needed. In your terminal, run the following command to install these required packages:
sudo apt install curl lsb-release apt-transport-https
This command installs
curl (used for downloading files),
lsb-release (provides distribution-specific information), and
apt-transport-https (allows using HTTPS for package management).
Step 3: Install Liquorix Kernel
The Liquorix Kernel team provides a convenient bash script to streamline the installation process. This script imports the required GPG keys, adds the Liquorix repository, updates your sources list, and installs the custom kernel on your Debian system.
Execute the following command to run the script and install the kernel:
curl 'https://liquorix.net/add-liquorix-repo.sh' | sudo bash
During the installation, the
linux-image-liquorix-amd64 package (containing the Liquorix kernel) and the
linux-headers-liquorix-amd64 package (providing the necessary kernel headers for building kernel modules) will be installed.
Upon successful completion, you should see output in your terminal indicating a successful installation:
Step 4: Reboot Your System
After successfully installing the Liquorix kernel packages, you must reboot your system to activate the new kernel. In your terminal, execute the following command:
This command gracefully restarts your system, allowing it to boot with the newly installed Liquorix kernel.
Step 5: Confirm Liquorix Kernel Installation
Once your system has rebooted, verify that the Liquorix kernel is active. In your terminal, run either of the following commands:
This command displays system information, including the active kernel version.
Alternatively, use the
cat command to check the
This command outputs the contents of the
/proc/version file, which contains information about the currently running kernel.
If the Liquorix kernel has been installed and is active, you will see its version in the output of either command.
Example of confirming installation during Debian reboot:
Example output with Neofetch on Debian Linux:
Section 2: Additional Commands & Tips
How to Update Liquorix Kernel
To keep the Liquorix kernel up to date, you can use the standard
apt update and
apt upgrade commands.
Check for updates with the following command:
sudo apt update
If an upgrade is available, update the Liquorix kernel by running:
sudo apt upgrade
How to Remove (Uninstall) Liquorix Kernel
Step 1: Remove the Liquorix Repository
To remove the Liquorix repository, execute the following command:
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/liquorix.list
Step 2: Remove the Liquorix Kernel
To uninstall the Liquorix kernel, execute the following command:
sudo apt autoremove linux-image-*.*.*-liquorix-amd64 linux-headers-*.*.*-liquorix-amd64 --purge
This command removes the Liquorix kernel packages along with any unused dependencies.
During the removal process, you will encounter a prompt asking to confirm the removal of the Liquorix kernel. Ensure you select the appropriate option to proceed with the removal. However, do not reboot your system immediately; continue with the instructions provided in the following steps.
Step 3: Check or Reinstall Default Kernel
Warning: Before proceeding, ensure you have an existing Linux kernel installed. Run the following command to install the Debian default kernel:
sudo apt install linux-image-amd64
By default, this command installs the Debian 11 Bullseye default kernel. Failing to do this may result in an unbootable system.
Step 4: Update Grub and Initramfs
Run a quick update for GRUB and initramfs:
sudo update-initramfs -u && sudo update-grub
Step 5: Reboot System
Restart your computer to finalize the removal of the Liquorix kernel:
Step 6: Verify Default Kernel Reinstalled
After rebooting, verify that the default kernel is active by running either of the following commands:
These commands display the currently running kernel version, confirming the default kernel is reinstalled.
Conclusion: Installing Liquorix Kernel on Debian
Installing the Liquorix kernel on a Debian Linux system can provide an enhanced desktop experience, especially for those seeking improved responsiveness and performance for gaming, multimedia, and real-time workloads. The process is straightforward and involves adding the Liquorix repository, updating the package list, installing the kernel, and rebooting the system. While the Liquorix kernel is unnecessary for every user, it can be a valuable addition to those requiring specific optimizations.
Additional Resources and Links
Here are some useful resources and links to help you explore further and learn more about the Liquorix kernel and Debian Linux:
- Liquorix Kernel Official Website: https://liquorix.net/
- The official website of the Liquorix kernel project provides detailed information on its features, benefits, and the latest updates.
- Liquorix Kernel Documentation: https://github.com/damentz/liquorix-package
- The official GitHub repository of the Liquorix kernel contains documentation on how to build and configure the kernel, as well as how to contribute to the project.
- Debian Official Website: https://www.debian.org/
- The official website of the Debian project provides information on Debian Linux distributions, news, and resources.
- Debian Wiki: https://wiki.debian.org/
- The Debian Wiki is a community-driven resource that provides comprehensive information on various aspects of Debian, including installation, configuration, and troubleshooting.