Ukuu – The Kernel Upgrade Utility

๐Ÿ“… September 7, 2019
If you are running an Ubuntu-derived distribution, you can always download the latest mainline kernel from kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa to see what is available and try it out. However, this requires a manual visit to the page.

Wouldn’t it be easier to have a program check on your behalf and notify you if a new kernel release is available? If you choose to upgrade the kernel, how about a friendly GUI to guide you through the process?

That is exactly what Ukuu does, and it can make kernel updates easier than before.

Installing Ukuu

Ukuu is not available in the repository as of this writing, so its PPA must be added:

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

Ukuu is also available from the author’s Launchpad page.

Free or Pay?

The version installed from the PPA is 18.9.3, and it does not appear to require any money to download or maintain even though a Donate button is present in the software.

The software author’s web site offers a newer version (19.01 unavailable in the PPA) that appears to be available only for purchase. Purchase appears to apply only to the newer 19.01 version and not to the 18.9.3 version, but you might need to do your own research to be certain. From the information available, the older 18.9.3 version offered in the PPA does not require any money to download and use, and no mention of payment is made on the Launchpad page or in the Ukku program as of the time of this writing. Ukuu 18.9.3 only provides a Donate button in its GUI. There are no nags or trial timers. Version 18.9.3 appears to be fully functional, and its Donate dialog clearly states that 18.9.3 is free for personal and commercial use.

Ukuu 18.9.3 Donate dialog disclosed licensing for this version downloaded from the PPA.

Ukuu in Operation

Ukuu detects and displays all available mainline kernels and shows which ones are currently installed on the system.

On this system, Ukuu has detected that the latest 5.2.13 is installed and running. The other kernels (not labeled as Installed or Running) are not installed on the system, but they are available for download and installation.

When a new mainline kernel is available, Ukuu will display a dialog asking if you would like to upgrade or not.

If you choose to install, Ukuu will download all necessary packages and install them. Progress is displayed.

Settings allows you to specify how often Ukuu checks for new kernels and how to notify you. The operation is simple and unobtrusive.

Ukuu presents a warning to remind users that kernel installation might cause issues.

Ukku can also be used from the terminal. Here, Ukuu is showing all installed kernels on a Linux Mint 19.2 system.

Ukuu About dialog for 18.9.3.

Conclusion

This is a handy program! While not 100% necessary for Linux (mainline kernels can be installed from the command line using dpkg), it offers features that help simplify kernel update checking and installation. If you are interested in an easier way to install mainline kernels, then give Ukuu a try.

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