Canonical Announces Ubuntu AWS Rolling Linux Kernel for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS AMIs

Canonical announced that the default Linux kernel in the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) is moving to a rolling kernel model.

Until now, the Ubuntu images for AWS (Amazon Web Services) have been using a normal Linux kernel that was updated whenever a new security update was available. With the new rolling model, the kernel in the Ubuntu AWS images gets all the latest fixes, performance tweaks, and security patches from upstream, as soon as they are available.

“The Ubuntu rolling kernel model provides the latest upstream bug fixes and performance improvements around task scheduling, I/O scheduling, networking, hypervisor guests and containers to our users,” said Canonical. “Canonical has been following this model in other cloud environments for some time now, and have found it to be an excellent way to deliver these benefits while continuing to provide LTS level stability.”

How to get started with a rolling kernel in Ubuntu AMIs

Starting today, the rolling kernel model is being applied to the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) Amazon Machine Images, which will upgrade users from the regular Linux 4.15 kernel to the Linux 5.0 kernel from the Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) release, which is available for preview as the linux-aws-edge kernel and it is recommended only for non-production deployments.

Those who want to install the Linux 5.0 rolling kernel in their Ubuntu AWS machines need to run the commands below in the terminal window. After a successful installation, you must reboot the machine with the second command set listed below, and after reboot you can see which kernel you’re running with the third command set below.

ubuntu@ip-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx$ sudo apt update
ubuntu@ip-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx$ sudo apt install -y linux-aws-edge

ubuntu@ip-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx$ sudo reboot
ubuntu@ip-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx$ uname -r

If you don’t want to use the rolling kernel and you want to switch back to the regular Ubuntu 18.04 LTS kernel, all you have to do is run the commands listed below followed by a reboot. That’s it! We should note though that the both kernel models offer the same level of quality and durability standards that Canonical provides for all their kernels.

ubuntu@ip-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx$ sudo apt update
ubuntu@ip-xxx-xxx-xxx-xxx$ sudo apt install linux-aws-lts-18.04

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