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👷 Utilities to compile and / or update linux kernels for Debian and derivatives (e.g. Ubuntu, LinuxMint, etc.)
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Linux Kernel Utilities

Note: Due to a lack of external support updates to these scripts are on hold.


Compile a kernel from source:

For use with Debian and derivatives (e.g. Ubuntu, LinuxMint, etc.)

Bash script that will poll for available kernels and present the user with a GUI for manually selecting options. This script will also check the downloaded archive against the PGP signature file.

Note: The user MUST save a configuration from the GUI even if defaults are used.
The configuration routine will pull the current machine's configuration in to the utility as a base.

Download precompiled Ubuntu kernel:

Bash script that will poll for available precompiled kernels and present the user with a menu for selection. It is set to currently filter for kernels at v4. Both generic and lowlatency choices are provided.

This is intended explicitly for Ubuntu and derivatives like LinuxMint.

Remove all inactive kernels:

Bash script that will purge ALL inactive kernels.

This may not be prudent for some as this will leave no default / backup safety kernel. The only kernel that will remain is the currently loaded version. It is highly recommended that a reboot be performed before executing this script.


Method 1: (Recommended) - Download and enable scripts wtih git

git clone
cd linux-kernel-utilities
chmod 750 *.sh

Method 2: DEB packages

Standard DEB installation packages are avaialble from the Releases section.


sudo dpkg -i linux-kernel-utilities*.deb


sudo dpkg -r linux-kernel-utilities 


  • Scripts are installed to /opt when using DEB packages.
  • Scripts will prompt to update when necessary. To update, use: git pull.



To compile a kernel with manual version selection


To compile the latest kernel available

./ --latest

To compile a kernel from a local archive file

./ --archive=linux-4.5.2.tar.xz

To compile the latest kernel automagically using a profile

./ --profile=zeus

Precompiled Ubuntu (and derivatives)

To download and install a precompiled Ubuntu kernel from


To download and install the latest precompiled Ubuntu kernel from

./ --latest

Removal of inactive kernels

To remove ALL inactive kernels (i.e. all kernels other than the currently loaded instance)



Do not run the scripts with sudo. They will prompt for elevated privileges if necessary.

The script will detect remote usage and execute QT or NCURSES accordingly.

Some older kernels (e.g. 3.x) require earlier versions of QT. If you are building v3.x kernels you should manually install QT4 before compiling. The script is set to install QT5 if missing.

Kernel Source Preservation

When installing a compiled kernel, links are created to the kernel source so that DKMS will function correctly. Therefore, you should take care not to delete the Build_xxxx folders after installation. If you compile a newer release and remove an older kernel using dpkg -r, it is then safe to delete the entire directory of the removed kernel version.

CI & Unit Testing

Internal: Gitlab & Gitlab CI
External: Github & Travis CI


  • You can set RC_FILTER to control whether Release Candidates are offered as a choice.
  • Enlarge your terminal window before executing the scripts to make sure proper formatting of available choices.
  • Multicore thread compiling is set automatically to twice the amount of detected cores.
  • Consider temporarily increasing grub menu timeouts and / or unhiding in case the new kernel is problematic.

CRISIS - cannot boot properly after new kernel is installed

  • If all else fails and a new kernel prevents you from booting you can:
    • Boot to a linux based LiveCD (e.g. GParted on a USB)
    • Open Terminal
    • Mount the partition: sudo mount /dev/sdXY /mnt
      where sdXY is likely your sda1
    • Mount some special partitions:
sudo mount --bind /dev /mnt/dev
sudo mount --bind /proc /mnt/proc
sudo mount --bind /sys /mnt/sys
  • Chroot into the /mnt: sudo chroot /mnt
  • Remove the kernel packages you just installed with dpkg -r yourRecentKernels
    • They must be removed in a non-dependency order, so just take your time.
    • dpkg --list | grep "ii[[:space:]][[:space:]]linux-[f,h,i,l]"
      will help list your installs


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