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I was thinking about installing a fresh copy of Ubuntu on my main machine. Along with doing so I was thinking about rolling a mainline kernel to get all of the latest support for hardware and such that has been released by the upstream kernel devs.

While I am very aware that this make my Ubuntu installation completely void of most Ubuntu support I am still wondering if there are ANY REAL advantages to force a Linux distro to the shiny new (stable) kernel from the upstream devs.

To be honest I have rolled my own before, I followed instructions and it worked fine but that for a very specific reason. So would this be a waste of my time or is there any real reason why this would still be a good idea?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Paul, mpy, Tog, Mokubai, Carl B Aug 25 '13 at 0:54

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers 2

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Do you think/need that you'll keep up with hardware changes better than the Ubuntu maintainers? With respect to hardware that creates the most issues, i.e. devices where hardware must be reverse engineered or proprietary drivers must be used, more than kernel updates will be necessary - and can, in these cases, actually make your existing devices stop working.

Now, I can understand rolling your own kernel for educational or security reasons. If such needs trump all else then do it.

Honestly unless you have a specific need for it you shouldn't deviate from what's a somewhat tested and known to work configuration, which includes that particular kernel config and the software that ships with it.

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Well I guess it could considered educcational. I am wanting to run a XEN dom0 on the box and I want to run with the latest version of XEN which has support for specific feature I want to utilize. Would the other option to bring the new version of XEN and compile it with latest Ubuntu kernel instead? –  ianc1215 Aug 18 '13 at 23:49

As ultrasawblade already said, there is no real reason if it runs well with your hardware. IMO some good reasons can be:

  • you want to learn something about Linux, source code, the kernel and compilation (which are all quite big topics you can be occupied for the rest of your life..)
  • you want to test any selfmade compilation manual
  • the kernel compilation time is a performance indicator for the used hardware
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