Ubuntu 16.04 released with Linux kernel 4.4, which is a fairly recent lts kernel. However, kernel 4.6 became available on May 15th, and many Ubuntu users are chomping at the bit to take the new kernel for a spin. New features for this kernel include:

  • Initial open-source support for GTX 900 series
  • Runtime AHCI power management support for greater power savings
  • Dell laptop support improvements
  • Better security for 32-bit Linux programs
  • Various open-source AMD graphics driver improvements
  • A number of new ARM hardware support.

For many people, upgrading to the new kernel won’t make any difference in performance, especially if your system is more than a few years old. In my case, I recently bought a new Dell laptop that could benefit from the new kernel, so I jumped at the chance to install this new kernel.
Installing the new kernel in Ubuntu and Ubuntu-basted distributions is pretty easy. Simply open a terminal and paste the following lines of code one by one.

For 64-bit systems:

cd /tmp/

wget kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.6.3-yakkety/linux-headers-4.6.3-040603_4.6.3-040603.201606241434_all.deb

wget kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.6.3-yakkety/linux-headers-4.6.3-040603-generic_4.6.3-040603.201606241434_amd64.deb

wget kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.6.3-yakkety/linux-image-4.6.3-040603-generic_4.6.3-040603.201606241434_amd64.deb

sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-4.6.3*.deb linux-image-4.6.3*.deb

For 32-bit systems:

cd /tmp/

wget kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.6.3-yakkety/linux-headers-4.6.3-040603_4.6.3-040603.201606241434_all.deb

wget kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.6.3-yakkety/linux-headers-4.6.3-040603-generic_4.6.3-040603.201606241434_i386.deb

wget kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.6.3-yakkety/linux-image-4.6.3-040603-generic_4.6.3-040603.201606241434_i386.deb

sudo dpkg -i linux-headers-4.6.3*.deb linux-image-4.6.3*.deb

A note from AJ: I personally tested this on Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu Gnome 16.04, Xubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 14.04, and it worked flawlessly. In theory, this should work on any Ubuntu based system, but there’s no way I can test it on every distro.

After installation, simply reboot your system to use the new kernel. If for some reason the system crashes while using the new kernel, you can access the old kernel from the GRUB menu. Simply choose “advanced options” and select the option to boot with the older kernel.

Below is my video demonstration:

As always, I hope you find this tutorial useful. Thanks for reading, and be sure to share this post on social media.

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