For testing purposes I usually download the ubuntu kernel available from git and build it for my PC. But usually the stable version of Ubuntu kernel is not always in sync with the latest stable vanilla kernel.

The difference also is that there are some patches applied to the vanilla kernel that are tailored to the Ubuntu distribution. You can distinguish an Ubuntu kernel if you look to the source folder where you will see 3 extra folders:

  • debian
  • debian.master
  • ubuntu

The packaging patches (debian patches) are available from the mainline kernel PPA (eg for v3.3.3 vanilla kernel are here). The problem is that I can not find also the Ubuntu Supplied Third-Party Device Driver patch so that I can apply them to the latest stable kernel from kernel.org

Am I missing something? Shouldn't be a separated patch that can be downloaded and applied to the vanilla kernel so that it can be "Ubuntu'fied"


The Ubuntu kernel doesn't use Debian packaging to apply patches to the kernel source, the way most Debian packages do. In terms of Debian packaging, there's a whole new upstream tarball for each kernel release.

This is done because the Ubuntu kernel team uses git to maintain kernel changes. This aligns us with upstream kernel practices and is more transparent than Debian packaging, for other kernel developers who want to see the (git) patches that make up our kernel.

You can find the Ubuntu git repositories for the kernels here:


released kernels are found in ubuntu/ubuntu-.git

Instructions for building a kernel are here:


Use the section for cloning the git repo, and then examine the git logs to find the patches for the driver you want. Then use git to extract them and apply them to your baseline kernel, and build that.

  • Thanks very much for you time and answer. So in short, there is No separate place from where I can download a some kind of "ubuntu-3.3.3.patch" that I can then apply to Linus' kernel v3.3.3 tree from kernel.org. I have to use the kernel that is provided through Ubuntu git (e.g. ubuntu/ubuntu-quantal.git). Am I correct ? – Salih Emin Apr 28 '12 at 17:24
  • 2
    That's correct. The way to do this is using git: extract the changes from the top of the Ubuntu kernel tree which were applied since the upstream kernel version baseline for that release. These will include upstream stable fixes, Ubuntu config changes, and things which we know upstream will not accept. Then take the ones which will apply (i.e. stable upstream patches for a previous kernel probably won't), and apply them to the upstream kernel of your choice. There are some commit text conventions described here: wiki.ubuntu.com/KernelTeam/KernelMaintenance under 'commit templates'. – sconklin Apr 28 '12 at 18:16

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