How to Upgrade to Linux 4.8 in Ubuntu 16.04.2

I had read from several news sources that Ubuntu 16.04.2 would come with Linux 4.8. My system was upgraded from Ubuntu 16.04.1 to Ubuntu 16.04.2 this week-end, but I still had Linux 4.4.


So I wondered why that was, and eventually found my answer on Reddit thanks to EndofLineLF user:

If it isn’t a new 16.04.2 installation then you won’t have newer kernel.

If your install started as 16.04 or 16.04.1 then with all updates installed “lsb_release” will display 16.04.2 as version because that’s what you have.

The switch to HWE (Hardware Enablement Stack) was never automatic. So if you want newer kernel you have to install it manually.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/RollingLTSEnablementStack#Packages-1
sudo apt-get install –install-recommends xserver-xorg-hwe-16.04

This will also install the new HWE kernel because it is recommended for that package.

Upgrading to the new kernel is completely optional, and Linux 4.4 will still get security updates, but I did it anyway, since I had an issue with the current Linux 4.4.62 kernel, although a fix with the next 4.4.63 release later this month. Anyway, I went ahead with:


After a reboot, I could confirm linux 4.8.0-34 kernel was installed:


If you run a Ubuntu 16.04 server installation, and want to upgrade to Linux 4.8, you may want to instead run:


One important note: If you switch from Linux 4.4 (GA) to Linux 4.8 (HWE), you’ll lose support for Canonical Livepatch Service.

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14 Comments
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Stefan M
Stefan M
3 years ago

Uhm, 4.8 has been EOL for a month? The latest stable is 4.9.
I have had 4.8 running since october, no issues, but now I’m running 4.9, no problems either.
Manually installed though, from http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/

I’m just wondering why Ubuntus recommending an EOL kernel, with no further updates…

Funny
Funny
3 years ago

Why do u recommend the lowlatency kernel for server systems?

jhnc
jhnc
3 years ago

Compile and use a monolithic kernel in servers. … keep away xservers in servers

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 years ago

@Stefan M
It’s very common for distributions to ship with kernels that are not supported by kernel.org anymore. In that case, they just have to provide kernel support themselves and backpot fixes, etc. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS shipped with kernel 3.13, for example, which never was a longterm kernel on kernel.org. Yet, Canonical still provides support for that kernel. This happens for other packages as well.

Mike
Mike
3 years ago

The HWE stack caused my computer with Intel Haswell i915 graphics to boot to a black screen. The commonly suggested “nomodeset” grub option locked my display at a very low resolution. I had to uninstall the 4.8 kernel and HWE xserver packages and reinstall the GA xserver packages with “apt install –reinstall ubuntu-desktop”.

Stane1983
3 years ago

@Anonymous
Ubuntu 14.04.5 ships by default with 4.4 kernel (from 16.04).

zgoda
zgoda
3 years ago

Strange but I did not get 16.04.2 update to date, it’s still at 16.04.1.

zgoda
zgoda
3 years ago


No luck, after dist-upgrade:

$ cat /etc/lsb-release | grep DESCRIPTION
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION=”Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS”

zgoda
zgoda
3 years ago

And I don’t see 16.04.2 download on Ubuntu.com page, only 16.04.1. Where did you get 16.04.2 from? 😀

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