From Fedora Project Wiki

Linux kernel vanilla repositories for Fedora Linux

The kernel vanilla repositories allow you to quickly, comfortably, and cleanly install the latest upstream Linux kernel versions on Fedora Linux. Six 'coprs' offer various ready-to-use kernel packages built from upstream Linux series like ‘mainline’ and ‘stable’. The provided RPMs are ideal for both quick tests and regular day-to-day use.

To simply install the latest kernel version deemed for end users, follow the instructions in the next section; for development kernels and more detailed instructions, head over to the second section. Note, both sections are meant for users of Fedora variants like Workstation, Server, or KDE Plasma Desktop; in case you are using a Fedora Atomic Desktop like Silverblue or Kinoite, head over to the section below dedicated to them.

Install the newest Linux version

To install the latest Linux kernel meant for regular end users run the following commands:

sudo dnf -y copr enable @kernel-vanilla/stable
sudo dnf upgrade kernel
mokutil --sb-state

The first two commands enable the ‘stable’ copr, from which DNF then will install the newest proper mainline kernel release (say 6.1) or the latest version from a stable series derived from it (e.g. 6.1.1, 6.1.2, …). The third command will tell you if UEFI Secure Boot is active on your system. If that's the case you have to either disable it in your system's BIOS Setup or through a process initiated through mokutil --disable-validation; that's required, as your firmware will otherwise reject booting kernels installed from these repositories.

Detailed instructions for installing and uninstalling Linux vanilla kernel packages

The following two sub-section describe how to chose an kernel vanilla copr for your use case and install a kernel from it; a third sub-section explains how to later remove the copr and kernels installed from.

Choosing the kernel vanilla coprs appropriate for your needs

Use the following table to decide which of the six @kernel-vanilla coprs ('fedora', 'stable', 'stable-rc', 'mainline-wo-mergew', 'mainline', or 'next') provides the kernels you want to use. To query the versions currently shipped by each of these coprs, check out the repostatus file.

@kernel-vanilla copr provides example version sequence target users
fedora The latest kernel version from the stable series the latest Fedora Linux release currently uses or will receive within days. …, 6.0.18,
6.1.6, …
This is mainly meant for users that want to check if a bug that happens with Fedora's kernel also occurs with the latest upstream version from the same kernel series.
stable The latest kernel version meant for regular end users; usually this is the newest version from the latest stable series, occasionally the latest mainline release. …, 6.0.15,
6.1.2, …
Anyone who wants the latest and greatest kernel.
stable-rc Pre-releases of the next release from the latest stable series. …, 6.0.15-rc1,
6.1.1, …
Anyone who wants to help testing Linux kernels from the latest stable series about to be released.
mainline-wo-mergew The latest mainline kernel, either built from a pre-release (aka "rc kernel") or a Git snapshot of the day – albeit the latter only after -rc1 was released. …, 6.1-rc8-20221211,
6.2-rc1-20221226, …
Anyone who wants to run a kernel built from the latest Linux codebase, except when mainline is in a 'merge window' – that is the phase right after a new mainline release (say 6.1) when the bulk of changes (including all riskier ones!) are merged for the next mainline version; this phase ends after two weeks with the publication of the next mainline kernel's first pre-release (e.g. 6.2-rc1).
mainline The latest mainline kernel build from a Git snapshot of the day. …, 6.1-rc8-20221211,
6.2-rc0-20221214, …
Anyone who wants to run kernels built from the latest Linux codebase.
next Linux-next kernels. …,,,, …
Anyone who wants to run linux-next or test if the changes slated for inclusion in the next mainline cycle fix a problem.

Note, only the coprs ‘fedora’ and ‘next’ are stand-alone; the other four each include coprs mentioned earlier in the table as a runtime dependency. Users of the ‘stable-rc’ copr thus will receive packages from the ‘stable’ or ‘fedora’ coprs when the latter contain kernels which package managers like DNF will considers newer. That way users of stable-rc copr won't be stuck on a -rc release with known problems fixed between the -rc and the final release; users of the 'mainline' repo will also receive daily snapshots from 'mainline-wo-mergew' repo outside of the merge window. The 'example version sequence' column takes these effects into account.

Another note relevant for users of Fedora versions in development, e.g rawhide and beta releases: be aware that these coprs will not provide kernel versions older than the one the particular Fedora release uses by default, as doing so could lead to problems. Rawhide for example regularly uses the latest mainline snapshots; that’s why rawhide users that have one of these repos enabled will receive vanilla mainline snapshots as well, even if they chose the ‘stable’ or ‘mainline-wo-mergew’ repos. Users of Fedora pre-releases (e.g. beta versions) might see similar effects, but once the Fedora version gets closer to its release things will start to work as advertised.

Install a kernel from the chosen copr

Enable the kernel vanilla copr you decided to use – for example the one shipping a kernel built from the latest mainline code:

sudo dnf -y copr enable @kernel-vanilla/mainline

Now update your system to install the latest package from the copr:

sudo dnf upgrade kernel kernel-devel

If you’re on a x86-64 (aka AMD64) system execute the following command as well:

mokutil --sb-state

If it tells you ‘SecureBoot enabled’ you will have to turn it off either in your BIOS Setup or through a process initiated with sudo mokutil --disable-validation. That sadly is needed, as your system otherwise will reject booting any kernels from these repositories: it's technically impossible to sign the copr kernels with a key typical x86-64 systems will trust.

Once you booted your vanilla kernel you have two options:

(1) In case you want to use the chosen copr regularly, be aware that for frequently updated kernel vanilla coprs like 'mainline' there is quite a risk that DNF misses the latest kernels and installs obsolete ones. To prevent that, tell dnf to check the kernel vanilla repositories more often than usual with a command like this one:

sudo sed -i 's!baseurl=\(mainline\|stable-rc\|next\).*!&\nmetadata_expire=1h!g; s!baseurl=\(stable\|fedora\)/.*!&\nmetadata_expire=3h!g;' /etc/yum.repos.d/*.repo

(2) In case you installed a vanilla kernel just for a quick test, consider removing the just configured copr immediately, as explained in the next section. It also explains how to later uninstall packages installed from the kernel vanilla coprs, which is needed to ensure you retrieve newly released kernels from Fedora again.

Remove the kernel vanilla repositories and kernels installed from them

Disable any kernel vanilla copr you enabled:

dnf copr list | grep 'group_kernel-vanilla' | xargs -r sudo dnf copr remove

Now downgrade the kernel and a few related packages to the latest versions Fedora provides:

sudo dnf --refresh distrosync bpftool 'kernel*' 'libperf*' perf python3-perf rtla rv

It's not strictly required, but highly recommended to boot into the latest official Fedora kernel now. To do so, restart and choose the top-most kernel from the boot menu that does not have 'vanilla' in the name.

Now remove all kernels installed from the kernel vanilla coprs:

rpm -qa 'kernel' 'kernel*core*' 'kernel*modules*' 'kernel*devel*' | grep '.vanilla' | xargs -r sudo dnf remove

If you disabled UEFI Secure Boot, you might want to turn it on again using the path you took to disable it, e.g. either through your BIOS Setup or a process initiated with sudo mokutil --enable-validation.

From now on your system will behave like one that never had these repositories enabled or kernels installed from it.

Instructions for Fedora Atomic Desktops

Important note: the following instructions only work as intended for the @kernel-vanilla coprs 'fedora' and 'next', as those are stand alone and do not depend on other coprs. The instructions most of the time will do the right thing on 'mainline-wo-mergew' copr as well; but with the @kernel-vanilla coprs 'stable', 'stable-rc', and 'mainline' they will often install and remain on an obsolete kernel for weeks. That's because the latest versions suitable for users of those coprs in about 50 to 80 percent of the time is distributed through a higher level copr (the note under the table above explains this scheme in more detail). DNF automatically uses the latter, but to our knowledge does not enable other repository a copr depends on.

Use the following commands to install the latest kernel from the 'mainline-wo-mergew' copr on Fedora Atomic Desktops like Silverblue or Kinoite:

curl -s "${copr}/repo/fedora-rawhide/group_kernel-vanilla-${copr}-fedora-rawhide.repo" | sudo tee "/etc/yum.repos.d/${copr}.repo"
sudo rpm-ostree override replace --experimental --from repo="${copr}" kernel kernel-core kernel-modules kernel-modules-core kernel-modules-extra

To later remove the kernel vanilla packages and the repository configuration, run the following commands:

sudo rpm-ostree override reset kernel kernel-core kernel-modules kernel-modules-core kernel-modules-extra
sudo rm "/etc/yum.repos.d/"*

How vanilla kernels compare to Fedora’s

Most of the time kernels from the kernel vanilla coprs 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 kernel used by Fedora Linux yet; other times it's the other way around, as Fedora sometimes includes fixes that upstream hasn't picked up yet. Those differences rarely matter much.

Empty or apparently outdated coprs are normal

Please be aware that at least one and up to three out of the six kernel vanilla coprs will always look empty or outdated when you check their copr’s web interface or look straight at the package repositories. That is totally normal, as it will look like that when the most recent build suitable for users of that copr is found in one of the other copr included as a runtime dependency; the note under above table explains this in more detail.

Linux kernel versions currently offered

A repostatus file shows what the repositories currently provide. Alternatively, execute the following script to query the latest packages locally:

dists=(39 40 rawhide)
dnf clean all > /dev/null
for repo in fedora stable{,-rc} mainline{-wo-mergew,} next; do
    [[ ${repo} =~ (fedora|next) ]] && unset repostring
    repostring="${repostring} --repofrompath=kvr-${repo},${repo}/fedora-\${distro}-x86_64/"
    for distro in ${dists[*]} ; do
        queryresult="$(eval dnf repoquery --quiet ${repostring} --disablerepo=* --enablerepo=kvr-* --latest-limit=1 -q kernel --arch x86_64 --qf '%{version}-%{release}')"
   	   printf '%-20s %-10s %s\n' "${repo}" "${distro}" "${queryresult:-lookup failed}"

Developers behind the effort and point of contact

The Linux kernel vanilla repositories for Fedora are maintained by Thorsten Leemhuis (aka "knurd") since late 2012. The packages they provide are built using a RPM spec file that is nearly identical to the one used to build Fedora’s kernel; the build environment about the same, too. Note though that none of the maintainers of the official Fedora Linux kernel are 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.