I've been using Ubuntu for long time. However, I'm still confused about one issue.

Why one would use default Ubuntu kernel(3.16 atm) instead of latest stable kernel(3.18 atm)? Is this only because of stability?

I know that there could be issues with newest beta NVIDIA drivers when you use latest rc kernels, but when kernel goes stable it should be safe to use. Why Ubuntu ships its own kernel instead of latest stable build? I've searched about this, but I was unable to find valuable information.

  • You will get linux 3.18 when Ubuntu 15.04 is released. – xangua Jan 31 '15 at 18:37

So the question you need to ask is 'Who decided "latest stable kernel" is 3.18?'. Wat that decided by The Kernel People or by Canonical? (the answer: the Kernel People).

Why Ubuntu ships its own kernel instead of latest stable build?

The Ubuntu kernel configuration files need to be added, tested and tweaked to the new kernel. That will cost time and resources (the idea is that it is better spent on the next Ubuntu release). So the latest stable release according to the Ubuntu Kernel Team is currently 3.16.

Kernel/dev/extended stable and mainlinebuilds should be an interesting read.

Besides that:

We will get a kernel update every 6 months that is tested and stable so it is not a long wait (less if you assume the kernel release is not out on the day a new Ubuntu appears).

How many end-users do you believe are waiting for kernel 3.18? Unless you are a developer (and you will know how to upgrade the kernel; and you will know where to find an upgrade method) there should be hardly any need to upgrade your kernel. Yes, there are some interesting features in any new release but those are not to interesting for the mainstream users of Ubuntu.

And we will get those features in 3 months anyways.

  • Is there additional modules or firmware that Canonical may add to the kernel ? I've been using 3.18 for some time, and noticed that one of my wireless cards doesn't work with 3.18, but only with 3.13 – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Jan 31 '15 at 18:55
  • Probably. If you have 3.13 make a list of the modules and compare it to 3.18. – Rinzwind Jan 31 '15 at 19:05

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