What Is a Kernel?
The kernel is basically an important piece of software found in every operating system. It acts as a mediator between the software you run every day (e.g. web browsers), and the hardware that it’s running on. Essentially, without a kernel, other programs cannot function since they can’t access your computer’s resources.
For example, open up your task manager. All of your processes take up some amount of your computer’s memory. It is the operating system’s kernel that is quietly allocating this memory to your programs.
Different operating systems have different kernels. For Linux users, this means using operating systems built upon the Linux kernel. Other examples include the NT kernel (Windows) and the XNU kernel (Mac).
Why Should I Upgrade My Kernel?
art of the Linux kernel is devoted solely to controlling things like your graphics card and CPU in the form of device drivers. These drivers inside the kernel tend to be limited to a particular range of hardware. With newer and newer technologies coming out, drivers need to be constantly added and updated to match them. If you’re using a partially unsupported computer, upgrading the kernel may help it become more compatible.
Along with this, system performance can go hand-in-hand with better drivers. Your graphics performance in particular get almost constant improvements per release. Just don’t expect miracles!
Unfortunately, the process of upgrading a kernel by hand can be a little tedious, and that’s where Ukuu comes in.
Ukuu (short for Ubuntu Kernel Update Utility) makes updating your Ubuntu kernel much easier to perform. It downloads newer kernels from the internet, and changes your system to let it use them. All you really have to do is choose which kernel you’d like and reboot into it.
Traditionally, updating your kernel means installing a new copy of Ubuntu over your old Linux box. If you repeat your installation experience a couple of times, you’ll see how it can eat up some time. Ukuu makes this process as easy as installing a program from the Ubuntu Software Center.
Enter these commands in the terminal to install Ukuu:
sudo apt-add-repository -y ppa:teejee2008/ppa
sudo apt-get update
Package managers (such as APT), work by retrieving a list of all the software that they can install. The second command ensures that this list is up to date. Put shortly, if you don’t enter this command, you won’t be able to find Ukuu!
sudo apt-get install ukuu