Install Kernel on Ubuntu

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Install Kernel on Ubuntu

December 9, 2015 | Article | No Comments

One advantage of using Linux is you can change your kernel when the latest one out. For Ubuntu, you can have  a painless way to install a new kernel.

In this article, we will discuss about generic (and painless) way to install new kernel. For this case, I use Ubuntu 12.10 and the kernel we will install is 3.10 version.

How to Check Kernel Version?

To check your current linux kernel version, enter this command on terminal:

uname -r


cat /proc/version

Ubuntu and Precompiled Kernel

Unlike compiling kernel by yourself, Ubuntu provide you with precompiled kernel. It means, they compile the kernel for you. It might good for anyone who want to install new kernel effortlessly. However, the drawback for this precompiled kernel is the kernel is optimized for general machine. It want to address all the hardware and machine condition resulting in bigger size. Yes it can run on any machine, but might not be optimized. If you want to optimized the kernel for your machine in specific way, you might want to consider compiling kernel from source.

Obtain the Material

First, grab the material, the kernel. Go to this link, and find your preferred kernel. For example, I will use kernel labelled by v3.10-saucy.

Note that the Ubuntu release two kind of package: linux image and linux headers. The kernel itself is packaged as linux image. The linux headers are collection of headers file used for compile third party driver. Or in generic way: it is header file of linux.

For each kind, there are two package namely package for 32 bit and for 64 bit architecture. Download the kernel suitable for your Ubuntu, i.e if you use 32 bit ubuntu then choose the i686 version. Otherwise, download the amd64 version.

For v3.10-saucy, we have following options:

[32 bit]

  1. Linux Image
  2. Linux Headers

[64 bit]

  1. Linux Image
  2. Linux Headers

The rest of this article will use Kernel to refer Linux Kernel / Image you have downloaded (.deb format) while the Headers will refer to Linux Headers.


Put both Kernel and Headers into the same location. Open terminal and navigate to that directory. To install, use following commands (with root privilege):

dpkg -i *.deb

Next, reboot the system


And check the version:

uname -a

It should give you version 3.10 😀

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A man who is obsessed to low level technology.

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