From Fedora Project Wiki

Linux kernel vanilla repositories for Fedora Linux

The kernel vanilla kernel repositories allow you to quickly, comfortably, and cleanly install the latest Linux kernels on Fedora Linux. Versions from various Linux series are available, among them: the latest ‘mainline’ kernel, the newest ‘stable’ release, or the latest version from the kernel series currently used by Fedora Linux. These kernels are perfect for both quick tests and regular day-to-day use.

Linux kernels series offered in the repositories

repository description target users example version sequence
fedora vanilla kernels from the stable series the latest Fedora Linux currently uses anyone who wants to check if vanilla kernels shows the same bug or behavior as the latest Fedora kernel …, 6.0.18, 6.0.19, 6.1.5, 6.1.6, …
stable the latest stable kernel according to the frontpage of kernel.org; this repo thus won't ship mainline releases like 6.1 and only jumps to a newer series once its first stable release (e.g. 6.1.1) is published anyone who wants the latest Linux stable kernel …, 6.0.14, 6.0.15, 6.1.1, 6.1.2, 6.1.3, …
stable-rc pre-releases of the next stable release anyone who wants to help testing future Linux stable kernels …, 6.0.14, 6.0.15-rc1, 6.0.15, 6.1.1-rc1, 6.1.1, …
mainline-wo-mergew identical to the ‘mainline’ repositories, but steers clear of git snapshots during merge windows anyone who normally wants the latest mainline kernel, but wants to play it a bit safer by avoiding mainline during merge windows; that's the phase at the beginning of a development cycle where the bulk of changes (~85 percent) are merged for the next mainline release before its first pre-release (e.g. a “-rc1") is published …, 6.1-rc8-20221211, 6.1, 6.1.1-rc1, 6.1.1, 6.2-rc1, 6.2-rc1-20221226, 6.2-rc1-20221227, …
mainline mainline kernels, either built from a proper release, a pre-release (aka "rc kernel"), or a git snapshot anyone who wants to run a kernel built from the the latest Linux codebase …, 6.1-rc8-20221211, 6.1, 6.2-rc0-20221213, 6.2-rc0-20221214, 6.2-rc0-20221215, …
next linux-next kernels; use at your own risk! anyone who wants to run linux-next or test if the changes slated for inclusion in the next mainline cycle fix a problem …, 6.1-0.0.next.20221210, 6.1-0.0.next.20221211,6.1-0.0.next.20221213, …
Note: each of those repositories includes all the ones mentioned earlier in the table as runtime dependency, except the next repository, which is stand-alone. Users of the ‘stable-rc’ repository thus will receive packages from the ‘stable’ or ‘fedora’ repositories when they ship kernel packages which package managers will consider newer; this will ensure users of stable-rc won’t be stuck on a kernel with known problems that were fixed between the release of the rc and the final version.


Also, be aware that none of these repositories will provide kernels older than those the particular Fedora release uses by default, as that could lead to problems. That aspect is mainly relevant for Fedora versions in development (IOW: rawhide and beta releases). Rawhide for example regularly uses the latest mainline builds; that’s why users of rawhide that have one of these repos enabled will receive vanilla mainline builds all the time, even if they chose the ‘stable’ or ‘mainline-wo-mergew’ repos. Users of pre-releases like a beta might see similar effects (but won’t get kernels from the merge window, unless the beta includes them, which would be quite unusual). Once a Fedora version under development gets closer to its final release everything will start to work as advertised.

How to install a vanilla kernel from these repositories

If you’re on a x86 system, first run mokutil --sb-state to check whether UEFI Secure Boot is active on your system. If that’s the case you have to turn it off either in your BIOS Setup or through a process initiated with mokutil --disable-validation; do not omit this, as the kernels from these repositories won’t boot otherwise, because they are not signed with a key typical x86 systems trust.

Now enable one of the kernel vanilla repositories and update your system. The following commands for example will install the latest mainline kernel:

sudo dnf -y copr enable @kernel-vanilla/mainline
sudo dnf upgrade 'kernel*'

In case you want that vanilla kernel just for a quick test, run sudo dnf copr remove @kernel-vanilla/mainline right afterwards to remove the repository again. Later when you’ve finished your tests, reboot and choose the latest stock Fedora Linux kernel from the boot menu; then uninstall all packages from the kernel vanilla repositories using sudo dnf remove $(rpm -qa 'kernel*' | grep '.vanilla' ) to ensure retrieving kernel updates from Fedora again.

In case you want to use these repositories regularly, consider advising dnf to check for new packages more often than usual – for example by running the following command, which advices dnf to query frequently updated repositories every hour and less often updated repositories every four hours:

sudo sed -i 's!baseurl=https://download.copr.fedorainfracloud.org/results/@kernel-vanilla/\(mainline\|stable-rc\|next\).*!&\nmetadata_expire=1h!g; s!baseurl=https://download.copr.fedorainfracloud.org/results/@kernel-vanilla/\(stable\|fedora\)/.*!&\nmetadata_expire=4h!g;' /etc/yum.repos.d/_copr:copr.fedorainfracloud.org:group_kernel-vanilla:*.repo

How vanilla kernels compare to Fedora’s

Most of the time these kernels will work roundabout as well and secure as Fedora’s. Sometimes though the kernels from these repositories will work better, as they contain drivers or security fixes that haven’t reached the kernels used by Fedora Linux yet; but then again other times it’s just the other way around.

It’s normal that some repositories are empty or look abandoned

Please be aware that quite a few of the repositories will look outdated, abandoned, or empty when you check for recent builds in copr’s web interface or look straight at a repository. But be assured, most likely everything is well and working as intended. It will look like that when the most recent build suitable for users of that repository is found in one of the other repositories included as a runtime dependency (see the footnote in above table for details).

Linux kernel versions currently offered

The file www.leemhuis.info/files/kernel-vanilla/repostatus.txt shows what the repositories currently provide.

Or execute the following script to query the latest packages locally:

dists=(36 37 rawhide)
dnf clean all > /dev/null
for repo in fedora stable{,-rc} mainline{-wo-mergew,} next; do
    repostring="${repostring} --repofrompath=kvr-${repo},https://download.copr.fedorainfracloud.org/results/@kernel-vanilla/${repo}/fedora-\${distro}-x86_64/"
    for distro in ${dists[*]} ; do
   	 queryresult="$(eval dnf repoquery ${repostring} --disablerepo=* --enablerepo=kvr-* --latest-limit=1 -q kernel --arch x86_64 --qf '%{version}-%{release}')"
     	 printf '%-20s %-10s %s\n' ${repo} ${distro} ${queryresult:-lookup failed}
    done
done

Developers behind the effort and point of contact

The kernel vanilla repositories are maintained primarily by Thorsten Leemhuis (aka "knurd"); the SRPMs are pretty close to those used to build Fedora’s kernel, but its maintainers are not involved in the maintenance of these repositories.

For any feedback or questions regarding the kernel vanilla repositories contact Thorsten Leemhuis (aka "knurd").

What’s the goal of these repositories? And are these kernels as good as Fedora’s?

These and many other questions are answered in the FAQ about the Linux kernel vanilla repositories for Fedora Linux.