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My machine was updated today to Ubuntu 16.04.2. However, the kernel is still "4.4.0-62-generic". What happened (it seemed that the principal advantage of the 16.04.2 version was the update of the kernel to 4.8) ? Do I have to make a fresh install ?

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"Updated to 16.04.2" and "installed 16.04.2" do not render the same result. The HWE packs for the Kernel and X aren't automatically installed onto existing non-point-release installs of Ubuntu.

For the main reason that it'd really annoy a whole load of people who have a stable system one day and then have to battle a new kernel. That's why the .0 kernel gets a full five year support.

You can opt-in to install the HWE packs (and have been able to for a little while) with:

sudo apt-get install --install-recommends xserver-xorg-hwe-16.04  

There is an important point to make here that starting from 16.04.2, point releases will be on rolling HWE stacks. You will automatically be shunted onto newer major versions of X and the Kernel.

This is a really important thing to note if you're deploying Ubuntu in low-maintenance situations. You don't want to climb a 50-foot ladder to get to your digital signage controller because a dodgy kernel update caught you off guard.

  • Please note that xserver-xorg has been automatically updated rescently for all 16.04 users. Now xserver-xorg and xserver-xorg-hwe-16.04 install the same version of graphical stack. That may change in the furure when the next HWE stack is released. – Pilot6 Feb 13 '17 at 13:22
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    This answer made absolutely no sense to me until I found the following Q: askubuntu.com/questions/248914/what-is-hardware-enablement-hwe – Calimo Feb 13 '17 at 14:44
  • Also "existing non-point-release installs" makes my head spin... – Calimo Feb 13 '17 at 14:45
  • @Calimo The first release, before any point releases. I was trying to find a way to say 16.04.0 without locking the answer to 16.04. – Oli Feb 13 '17 at 14:54
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    @Oli so do you mean that HWE packs would be installed if the OP had performed his install with 16.04.1? – Calimo Feb 13 '17 at 15:20
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There is no "principal advantage" of installing the 4.8 kernel.

In most cases it is not necessary, and it is more convenient to keep the original LTS kernel. You may need to update the kernel if some hardware is not supported by the 4.4 kernel.

That is why kernels do not automatically update to another major version.

Anyway, you can always install the 4.8 kernel by running

sudo apt install linux-generic-hwe-16.04

The 4.8 kernel is installed if you do a fresh installation from the 16.04.2 Ubuntu iso.

  • You make it sound as if the only benefit of a newer kernel is additional hardware support. This is false, it also offers bug fixes and general speed/reliability improvements. – fkraiem Feb 13 '17 at 13:14
  • The bug fixes are backported to Ubuntu kernels in regular updates. Yes, almost the only reason in 99% of cases to upgrade is to add support of new hardware. – Pilot6 Feb 13 '17 at 13:16
  • The answer falls within accepted industry standards +1. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Feb 13 '17 at 13:17
  • Errors were encountered while processing: linux-image-4.10.0-38-generic linux-image-extra-4.10.0-38-generic linux-image-generic-hwe-16.04 linux-generic-hwe-16.04 E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1) – gtzinos Nov 15 '17 at 11:59

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