Kernel 5.0 has been out for a while now, and although it has found its way into the likes of Ubuntu 19.04, it has yet to trickle into Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or 18.10. All is not lost. Because this is Linux, it is possible to get the latest, greatest kernel installed on your machines. And, chances are, because you are only interested in installing the 5.0 kernel on your desktops (as most server admins are hesitant to install anything bleeding edge on their servers), there’s a really simple GUI method for getting the 5.0 kernel on your system.

I’m going to show you how.

SEE: System update policy template download (Tech Pro Research)

What you need

The only things you need are a running instance of Ubuntu 18.04, 18.10 (or a distribution based on either of those releases) and a user account with sudo privileges. With those at the ready, let’s get our kernel-fu on.

Ubuntu kernel update utility

This upgrade is sponsored by a tiny little tool with a lot of power: UKUU (Ubuntu Kernel Update Utility). With this GUI tool, you can easily install or remove any supported kernel for your distribution.

Before you can use UKUU, however, you must install it. To do that, open a terminal and issue the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:teejee2008/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ukuu -y

After you install UKUU you are ready for a new kernel.

Before you install

Before you make these changes, I highly recommend you alter the GRUB configuration on your system. Out of the box, newer releases of Ubuntu are not set to display the GRUB options window. Without the window, you cannot select which kernel you want to boot. Should you install a mainstream kernel, and it does not work, without the GRUB menu you won’t be able to boot a previous kernel to solve what ails you.

To enable the GRUB boot menu, open a terminal window and issue the command:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

In that file comment out the GRUB_TIMOUT_STYLE=hidden line and set the TIMEOUT to 10, like so:


Save and close that file. Next issue the command:

sudo update-grub

The GRUB options will update, and you’re ready to go. Should things fall apart with the kernel 5.0 installation, select Advanced options from the GRUB boot menu and then select a previously installed kernel (Figure A).

Installing with UKUU

You’ll find the UKUU tool in your desktop menu. Open it, and you’ll see which kernels are available to your distribution in the main window (Figure B).

From the main window, select the kernel you want to install and click Install. A new window will appear (Figure C) displaying the output of the installation status.

When the installation completes, you will be prompted to click Close to dismiss the output window. Another window will appear (Figure D), warning you that installing mainline kernels can cause problems–but have no fear–your previous kernel is still intact.

Close UKUU and reboot your machine. Once it reboots, log in and open a terminal window. Issue the command uname -r to see which kernel is running. You should see the kernel installed by UKUU (Figure E).

Fortunately, should the machine not boot (because something went awry during the kernel installation), you made it such that a previous kernel can be selected.

Enjoy that 5.0 version of the Linux kernel!