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Upgrading the Linux kernel in Kubuntu 14.10 from 3.16 to 3.19

Submitted by Druss on Tue, 2015-02-17 02:02

So I've had a graphics issue with my Kubuntu box which relies on an Intel motherboard. While I was hoping to put off the fix until the next version of Kubuntu (out in April), the display bug was getting to be really annoying. I therefore decided to upgrade to the latest kernel immediately.

I am on a Kubuntu 14.10 (utopic) machine which ran a 3.16 kernel. While the bug that was plaguing the machine would have been fixed if I'd upgraded to 3.17.x or 3.18.x, I decided to bite the bullet and go for the (few-days-old-at-the-time-of-upgrade) relatively shiny 3.19.0 release. Before we begin, you can assuage some of your fears about breaking your system as, once installed, you can choose during boot which kernel you'd like to use. So if anything goes wrong, you will still have the opportunity to use the old (in my case) 3.16.x kernel and either make it the default or remove the 3.19.x kernel altogether.

So here's how you upgrade the kernel for Ubuntu and Ubuntu's variants:

  1. Go to the mainline kernel-ppa and scroll right down to the bottom.
  2. Click on the kernel (folder) you want. In my case, this was v3.19-vivid/ (where vivid is the name of the upcoming Ubuntu release).
  3. Within this directory, you will need to download three files. You are very likely running a standard 64-bit system like mine which would require these:
    • linux-headers-3.19.0-031900-generic_3.19.0-031900.201502091451_amd64.deb
    • linux-headers-3.19.0-031900_3.19.0-031900.201502091451_all.deb
    • linux-image-3.19.0-031900-generic_3.19.0-031900.201502091451_amd64.deb

    IOW, you do not want anything marked lowlatency or i386.

  4. Once you have downloaded these files, move them into a directory name kernel or similar and install them (which is best done from the command-line). Open a terminal, navigate to this new directory and install them using sudo dpkg -i [packagename]. Since we have only the three kernel files in our directory, we can also simply use the shortcut,
    $ sudo dpkg -i linux-*
  5. Installation should take a while. When done, reboot. In the (GRUB) boot menu, you should be able to see an advanced option which when selected should present options to choose which kernel you would like to boot from. If the new kernel is not to your liking, reboot and choose the old one!

Needless to say, my graphics problem is gone :)

Hope this helps someone out there!