Kernel choices on Ubuntu LTS
With my newly built dev machine, rocking an
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X CPU and
AMD 5700XT, the current LTS kernel (20.04 - Focal Fossa) from Ubuntu has very limited support, such as the occasional GPU freeze / tear / flickering, bios reporting EDAC memory issues etc. One major issue I don’t need worry this time is graphics drivers, because AMD GPU drivers are integrated into the kernel already. So the only hurdle is to upgrade the kernel (and the BIOS/UEFI).
Below are the possible solutiosn I’ve discovered:
General Availability line
- Old but very stable
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-20.04
Hardware Enablement line
- Ubuntu kernel lifecycle
- Semi-new but semi-stable
- Enabled by default
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-20.04
Ubuntu Mainline (PPA)
- Very new but can be unstable
- Much easier to use a pre-written script such as Ubuntu-mainline-kernel.sh
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/pimlie/ubuntu-mainline-kernel.sh/master/ubuntu-mainline-kernel.sh chmod +x ubuntu-mainline-kernel.sh
So for the most part of 2021 I used the mainline kernel, which is updated almost daily. I usually check the news and see how much of a performance boost my CPU/GPU gets and then decide to update. Occasionally the OS will panick and reboot, then I will roll back to a more stable previous version. I stopped updating eventually as I value stability more than performance.
Eventually in the second part of 2021, the hardware enablement (HWE) line started to catch up, and the support for my hardware is pretty much all there now.
And I have not encountered any more kernel issues for the past 8 months. 😊