XanMod is a free, open-source general-purpose Linux Kernel alternative to the stock kernel with elementary OS. It features custom settings and new features and is built to provide a responsive and smooth desktop experience, especially for new hardware.
XanMod is popular amongst Linux Gaming, streaming, and ultra-low latency requirements and often boasts the latest Linux Kernels before landing on most distributions. Most desktop users are not even into gaming but want a new kernel for better hardware support, making XanMod one of the more popular choices.
For more information on XanMod Kernel before installing, visit the XanMod Kernel features information page.
XanMod only supports x86_64 processor architecture.
In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest XanMod Kernel on elementary OS 6.
Table of Contents
- Recommended OS: Any elementary OS 6.xx distribution.
- User account: A user account with sudo or root access.
The tutorial will utilize the terminal for the installation found in Applications (Top Right Corner) > Search > Terminal.
Update Operating System
Update your elementary OS 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:
Example output showing sudo status:
[joshua@elementaryos~]$ sudo whoami root
To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on Adding a User to Sudoers on elementary OS.
To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.
To complete the installation, you will need to install the following software packages by using the following command in your terminal.
sudo apt install software-properties-common -y
If you are unsure, run the command; it will not harm you.
Import the XanMod Repository
The first task is to import the XanMod repository. This can be done in several ways, but the tutorial will use the apt package manager’s terminal to simplify things.
First, import the repository using the following command.
echo 'deb http://deb.xanmod.org releases main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xanmod-kernel.list
Verify the command worked using the grep command.
grep xanmod /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xanmod-kernel.list
deb http://deb.xanmod.org releases main
With the repository successfully imported, the next task is to import the GPG key using the following command.
wget -qO - https://dl.xanmod.org/gpg.key | sudo apt-key --keyring /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/xanmod-kernel.gpg add -
Example output if successful:
Next, update your APT repository source listing to reflect the new addition.
sudo apt update
The repository typically has newer packages for dependencies already installed, as you may have noticed.
Before continuing, run the apt upgrade command.
sudo apt upgrade
Install XanMod Linux Kernel
With the XanMod repository installed and up to date, you can install the Linux kernel from XanMod. In the future, these Linux Kernel versions will change to Linux Kernel 5.17, 5.18, 5.19, etc.
The tutorial will go over installing all three, but it’s recommended to stick to stable and edge, do not use development unless you know what you are doing.
To install XanMod stable:
sudo apt install linux-xanmod
To install XanMod edge (recommended for latest kernel):
sudo apt install linux-xanmod-edge
To install XanMod development:
sudo apt install linux-xanmod-tt
Example output from (edge):
Type Y, then press the ENTER KEY to proceed with the installation.
Once the chosen repository Linux kernel has been installed, you will need to reboot your system to complete the installation.
Once you have returned to your system, verify the installation.
At the time of the tutorial, the edge branch contained Linux kernel 5.16, but this will change almost the same day when a new Linux kernel is released; remember this for the future.
Verify the kernel installed by using the following cat command.
How to Update XanMod Kernel
To keep the Linux kernel you installed with XanMod up to date, you will run the standard apt update and upgrade commands if you installed XanMod using APT, which the tutorial has shown.
To check for updates.
sudo apt update
If an upgrade is available.
sudo apt upgrade
How to Remove (Uninstall) XanMod Kernel
To remove XanMod, use the following command.
Remove XanMod stable:
sudo apt autoremove linux-xanmod --purge
Remove XanMod edge:
sudo apt autoremove linux-xanmod-edge --purge
To install XanMod development:
sudo apt autoremove linux-xanmod-tt --purge
This will entirely remove all traces of XanMod possible and unused dependencies.
Ideally, you can remove the repository as well.
sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xanmod-kernel.list
Once you reboot your system, you will find that the XanMod kernel is still around. If this is so, use the following steps, which you can do before rebooting your machine, to begin with.
First, we need to use the exact name of the Linux image and header package of XanMod. This can be found by using the following dpkg –list command.
dpkg --list | grep `uname -r`
The names shown in the output are the ones you need to remove that involve the XanMod Kernel, which should be displayed only.
sudo apt autoremove linux-headers-5.16.2 linux-image-5.16.2
Remember to replace the 5.16.2 with the version printed out in the dpkg –list command.
Alternatively, you could take a shortcut using this command as follows, but be careful not to remove any existing kernels.
sudo apt autoremove linux-headers-5.16.* linux-image-5.16.*
Next, update-grub and initramfs.
sudo update-grub && sudo update-initramfs -u
This should result in the original Linux Kernel present before installation in the output logs.
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-5.13.0-27-generic
Now restart your PC to finalize the removal of XanMod.
Once you have returned to your system, verify the installation rollback.
As shown above, you have rolled back to the default Linux kernel, thus successfully removing XanMod from your system in full.
Comments and Conclusion
In the tutorial, you have learned how to install XanMod on elementary OS 6.xx. XanMod is designed for desktop users with the latest hardware, but this can be installed on any elementary OS desktop currently supported. However, it is advised to research before upgrading, and it is ill-advised to use it on critical or production-type systems.
One of the best features of using XanMod is that when the next Linux Kernel comes around, it is included on development/edge very quickly. Hence, it is worth the look, especially if you are into Linux gaming.