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Currently I'm running Linux-3.0 and I want to update it to Linux-3.3.1 the latest stable kernel release as mentioned at http://www.kernel.org. Can I update to 3.3.1 in Ubuntu without any risk of crashes? I'm updating my kernel regularly as provided by the Update Manager..Currently I have Linux-3.0.0.17..Can I update?

NOTE:

The latest kernel version any user is supposed to use in Ubuntu is updated automatically via the Update Manager, so no action is normally required by user regarding kernel upgrades. What the question author is referring to is mainline kernel, see: Should I upgrade to the "mainline" kernels?

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Related: Should I upgrade to the “mainline” kernels? –  Aditya Oct 4 '13 at 18:54
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8 Answers 8

As you've seen, Ubuntu does provide versions of the Linux kernel, but not always as fast as they are released upstream, you can always compile the 3.3.1 kernel yourself, but that may be more effort than you were looking for. If not, search around and I'm sure you'll find a tutorial you can follow such as this one. (note that I haven't checked that one thoroughly so be wary as kernels are dangerous beasts)

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Another option is to try customized and optimized builds, such as this i3/i5/i7 optimized 3.2.1 kernel for Ubuntu:

DuoPetalFlower, My Experiments with Linux - 3.2.1 kernel

He also has Intel atom optimized builds which can work quite well if you're trying to squeeze every last ounce of performance out of a netbook.

There are other kernels like Liquorix that claim to be better optimized for desktop performance.

Though not recommended by some, you can often run official kernels from later versions of Ubuntu without issues. I'm currently running the 3.3.3 precise kernel on oneiric and my machine works better than ever. Performance & battery life increased, while temperatures dropped a few degrees. My issue of a black screen when resuming from standby has also disappeared. Though I personally haven't had issues from using newer kernels, you will find some people who are strongly opposed to doing this.

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The simplest set of instructions I always used for kernel upgrade / downgrade are by ubuntuforums.org user by the name of lykwydchykyn (url modified by me for this post):

  1. Go here: http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/
  2. Download 3 (maybe 4) debs to a folder somewhere:

    linux-headers-VERSION-NUMBER_all.deb
    linux-headers-VERSION-NUMBER_amd64.deb
    linux-image-VERSION-NUMBER_amd64.deb
    linux-image-extra-VERSION-NUMBER_amd64.deb   # if available
    
  3. Install the debs with whatever package manager front-end you use (is gdebi still around?), or use these commands:

    cd /path/to/folder/where/you/put/the/debs
    sudo dpkg -i *.deb
    

Sources:

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My answer is, YES you can. The stable release was 3.4, but in this tutorial i use 3.3.1.

Ubuntu (32-bit) Generic PAE:

Run the following commands:

mkdir kernel\ v3.3.1-precise && cd kernel\ v3.3.1-precise
wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v3.3.1-precise/linux-headers-3.3.1-030301-generic-pae_3.3.1-030301.201204021435_i386.deb
wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v3.3.1-precise/linux-headers-3.3.1-030301_3.3.1-030301.201204021435_all.deb
wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v3.3.1-precise/linux-image-3.3.1-030301-generic-pae_3.3.1-030301.201204021435_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i linux-*.deb 
sudo update-grub
sudo reboot now

Ubuntu (64-bit):

Run the following commands:

mkdir kernel\ v3.3.1-precise && cd kernel\ v3.3.1-precise
wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v3.3.1-precise/linux-headers-3.3.1-030301-generic_3.3.1-030301.201204021435_amd64.deb
wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v3.3.1-precise/linux-headers-3.3.1-030301_3.3.1-030301.201204021435_all.deb
wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v3.3.1-precise/linux-image-3.3.1-030301-generic_3.3.1-030301.201204021435_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i linux-*.deb 
sudo update-grub
sudo reboot now

Enjoy!

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i install the kernel 3.8.5-raring as you said on my Ubuntu 12.04. but now my OS is down and there is no cli or any grub menu. just thinking. –  shgnInc Apr 2 '13 at 16:05
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You could always do the following:

apt-cache search linux-image

Pick the one you want and then do:

sudo apt-get install linux-image-your_version_choice
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That would not give a mainline kernel; rather, it would give an Ubuntu build (of the specified version number). –  Eliah Kagan Jan 5 '13 at 9:17
    
Probably better than going with a mainline one though, since it's been massaged for the target OS. –  quickshiftin Oct 2 '13 at 3:43
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Run the following Terminal commands to install a new Ubuntu mainline kernel.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-bs4
cd /tmp
rm -rf medigeek-kmp*
wget --no-check-certificate https://github.com/medigeek/kmp-downloader/tarball/master -O kmpd.tar.gz
tar xzf kmpd.tar.gz
cd medigeek-*
python kmpd.py -d

The script is hosted at Github. Just press Enter instead of a number if you get stuck on a certain question in the Python script.

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I'm the author of that script. I've just fixed it. Please file bug reports, most of the time programmers don't know bugs exist until someone files a report. :) –  medigeek Jul 19 '13 at 19:29
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Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPZxCI-uP3Y Spatry's Cup Of Linux's tutorial on Upgrading the Kernel on Ubuntu.

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There is a much simpler way of doing this, and it's the way I use. Simply download the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel Updater script and run it from a terminal. It will download the .deb's for you, install the new kernel, and optionally remove the old one (not recommended) then optionally reboot.

Example output (copied from my terminal):

evilsupahfly@the-black-beast:~$ sudo KernelUpdateChecker -no-rc -r utopic
Run this command to install the new kernel
/tmp/kernel-update
root@the-black-beast:~# /tmp/kernel-update
Config Notes:
Rejecting Release Candidates
Accepting Latest Kernel
Accepting kernels compiled for utopic
Accepting kernels with a version higher than 3.15.0-031500-lowlatency

Information:
Origin: 
    http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v3.15.1-utopic
Kernel Version:
    3.15.1-031501
Release Date:
    2014/06/16 @ 18:41 (YYYY/MM/DD @ HH:MM)

Care to look at the change log? (y=Yes, n=No) (n)

(download output skipped)    

Greetings root
    I (the-black-beast) am now self aware and a sentient being, have a nice day.
    Oh and by the way SKYNET is now active.

Installing Linux 3.15.1-031501:

(installer output skipped)

The New Kernel looks to have been installed

WARNING: If the new kernel does not boot you may regret saying yes here.
Would you like to remove the current one? (y=Yes, n=No) (n): n

Are you ready to Reboot? (y=Yes, n=No) (n): n

Almost entirely automated, and completely problem free.

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