I am currently running Ubuntu 14.04.4 with kernel version 3.16. There are posts that indicate that the current kernel version is 3.19. Should I upgrade, if yes then how? Wouldn't the kernel be automatically upgraded by Ubuntu Software Center?

The output of hostnamectl status  is given below.

Static hostname: neelanshu-HP-Notebook
         Icon name: computer-laptop
           Chassis: laptop
           Boot ID: fc22e28db4834eb3862e269203e58923
  Operating System: Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS
            Kernel: Linux 3.16.0-69-generic
      Architecture: x86_64

Please advise. Thanks.


1 Answer 1


You do not have to upgrade your kernel. Kernel 3.16 still gets security and bug fixing updates.

But you CAN upgrade the kernel to 3.19 by

sudo apt-get install linux-generic-lts-vivid

or to 4.2 by

sudo apt-get install linux-generic-lts-wily

It is even possible to upgrade to kernel 4.4, but that may cause issues with DKMS modules

sudo apt-get install linux-generic-lts-xenial
  • Is there any disadvantage, in terms of performance, security etc, if I stay with 3.16?
    – neelanshu
    Apr 3, 2016 at 13:59
  • I do not think so. New kernels are needed to support new hardware. And there is no need to upgrade if there is no specific reason.
    – Pilot6
    Apr 3, 2016 at 14:00
  • 2
    You need newer kernel for "cutting-edge technologies" like zfs or docker.
    – Petr
    Jun 27, 2016 at 8:54
  • 2
    Note that kernels can have security vulnerabilities like any other package. Eg.: ubuntu.com/usn/usn-3106-2
    – Christian
    Oct 28, 2016 at 1:53

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