Install Linux Kernel 6.8 on Ubuntu: Step-by-Step Guide

 

 The latest stable kernel, Linux 6.8, is now available for installation on Ubuntu systems through Canonical's Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA archive. This tutorial will guide you through the process using either the graphical interface or the command line.

Released on March 10th, 2024, Linux kernel 6.8 introduces several new features, including LAM (Linear Address Masking) virtualization, guest-first memory support for KVM, support for the Broadcom BCM2712 processor in Raspberry Pi 5, zswap writeback disabling, fscrypt support for CephFS, and a new Intel Xe DRM driver, among others. These updates aim to enhance hardware support and functionality.

To install Linux kernel 6.8 on your Ubuntu system, follow the steps outlined below. Please note that while this tutorial has been tested on a 64-bit Ubuntu 23.10 machine, the packages are also available for ARMhf, PowerPC 64-bit Little Endian (ppc64el), and IBM System z (s390x) architectures.

**Disclaimer:** The Ubuntu Kernel Team does not provide support for these kernels, and they are not responsible for any damages resulting from improper installation or use. Additionally, as these kernels are not signed, Secure Boot must be disabled to install them. However, Linux 6.8 will be the default kernel in the upcoming Ubuntu 24.04 LTS (Noble Numbat) release.

### Method 1: Install Linux Kernel 6.8 Using "Mainline Kernels" Tool

The easiest method to install Linux kernel 6.8 is by utilizing the graphical tool called Mainline Kernels. Follow these steps:

1. Open the Terminal app and execute the following commands to add the Mainline Kernels tool PPA, update package information, and install the tool:
    ```
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cappelikan/ppa
    sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade
    sudo apt install -y mainline
    ```

2. Once installed, access the Mainline Kernels tool from your applications menu.

3. The tool will check for new kernel versions from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA archive. Select "Linux kernel 6.8.1" from the list and click the "Install" button to proceed.

4. Wait for the installation to complete, and then reboot your computer.

### Method 2: Install Linux Kernel 6.8 via Command Line

This method is recommended for experienced users who prefer using the command line interface:

1. Manually download the kernel packages for your architecture from the official Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA archive for Linux kernel 6.8.

2. Create a folder in your Home directory and download the following packages for a 64-bit (amd64) Ubuntu system:
    - linux-headers-6.8.1-060801-generic_6.8.1-060801.202403151937_amd64.deb
    - linux-headers-6.8.1-060801_6.8.1-060801.202403151937_all.deb
    - linux-image-unsigned-6.8.1-060801-generic_6.8.1-060801.202403151937_amd64.deb
    - linux-modules-6.8.1-060801-generic_6.8.1-060801.202403151937_amd64.deb

3. Install the downloaded packages using the following command in the Terminal app:
    ```
    sudo dpkg -i *.deb
    ```

4. After installation, reboot your system.

Reverting to a Different Kernel

If you encounter issues with Linux kernel 6.8 and wish to switch back to Ubuntu's default kernel or another installed kernel, follow these steps:

1. During boot, press the Esc key to access the boot menu.

2. Select the "Advanced options" boot entry to view the available kernel versions.

3. Choose a different kernel version from the list to boot into.

By following these instructions, you can successfully install Linux kernel 6.8 on your Ubuntu system, ensuring better hardware support and access to new features.
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