Ubuntu: Updating to kernel 4.7, firmware troubles

 

I’ve been involved with ubuntu since 7.04 Feisty Fawn, guided by a local non-profit called Free Geek (Check’em out!). I had my first taste of linux when I went through their beginning computer program, building a box out of AMD64 and older machines. I didn’t know much about Ubuntu then, let alone what a kernel was and how to update it. Thus this post which I hope will be informative for someone.

I hadn’t touched the Ubuntu install on my XPS 13 9350 for quite a while. Frankly I dont use my laptop for much unless I’m traveling. With my new job, I figured I should dust it off, and get things updated and tweaked. Fresh install of 16.04 about 5 mins later, and we’re off to update the 4.4 kernel to the current 4.7. 4.7 comes with the regular firmware and security updates and some new features. What I’m particularly interested in is the power management firmware, and is why I’m bothering to do this at all.

This is a relatively simple process. While some of the tutorials online seem to have older, incomplete commands and links, I found a great comment listing everything you need here by Uddalak Bhaduri (scroll down and you’ll find his comment), original tutorial posted by Ji M. Figured I’d regurgitate the various commands and tips I’ve scrounged into a complete tutorial.

without further ado:

For Ubuntu 64 bit system, follow these steps:

wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.7/linux-headers-4.7.0-040700_4.7.0-040700.201608021801_all.deb

wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.7/linux-headers-4.7.0-040700-generic_4.7.0-040700.201608021801_amd64.deb

wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.7/linux-image-4.7.0-040700-generic_4.7.0-040700.201608021801_amd64.deb

Then install kernel 4.7 using command:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Finally update GRUB:

sudo update-grub

Then, reboot your system:

sudo reboot

To check the installed kernel which you’re using:

uname -r

For Ubuntu 32 bit system, follow these steps:

wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.7/linux-headers-4.7.0-040700_4.7.0-040700.201608021801_all.deb

wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.7/linux-headers-4.7.0-040700-generic_4.7.0-040700.201608021801_i386.deb

wget http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.7/linux-image-4.7.0-040700-generic_4.7.0-040700.201608021801_i386.deb

Then install kernel 4.7 using command:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

Finally update GRUB:

sudo update-grub

Then, reboot your system:

sudo reboot

To check the installed kernel which you’re using:

uname -r

screenshot-from-2016-09-25-18-22-52

 

Ta-dah! Done! Should take you about 10 mins max, and most of that is waiting for the kernel to download.

I’m personally installing this on a Dell XPS 13 9350. You might get a message talking about a missing i915 firmware file at the end of the kernel update. This appears to be related to Graphics acceleration with skylake and kabylake processors. If you get this message and you’re not on either processor, dont worry about it and move on, you’re done! If you do have one however, keep reading.

 

Driver packages seems to be lagging behind the kernel updates a bit, so we have to manually install an update to get the full features of our integrated GPU. The new Linux kernel now supports a later version of GUC, an Intel graphics firmware blob. Head on over here to get the files.

Download the just GUC file for your appropriate processor and extract it in your downloads file. I personally do this step in the GUI rather than CLI, since I dont know all the Tar extract commands yet. Once you extract it, we can install it.

1.) cd into your downloads ($ cd ~/Downloads)

2.) find your guc(the one you just downloaded) folder, and Cd into it (remember newbies, the ls command is your friend)

2.) we have to adjust the .sh file to make it executable, type sudo chmod +x install.sh

3.) install the file. sh ./install.sh

 

screenshot-from-2016-09-25-18-56-33

 

If you get file permissions problems, dont forget to throw a sudo in the front of your commands (like I forgot to). That should resolve any permissions errors you have.

If you run into any problems, google is definitely your friend. You’re welcome to ask me for any help, and Ill give it the ole college try. I’m no linux guru yet though, so your results may vary. Cheers!

-Garret

listened to during the creation of this tutorial: Place To Be by Surreal and The Sound Providers

 

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