From Fedora Project Wiki

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|- style="vertical-align:top;"
|- style="vertical-align:top;"
| kernel-vanilla-stable
| kernel-vanilla-stable
| the latest stable kernel according to; this repo thus won't ship mainline releases like 4.4 and switch to a new major version oncee 4.4.1 is relased
| the latest stable kernel according to; this repo thus won't ship mainline releases like 4.4 and only perform the jump to new major version line once 4.4.1 is released
| those who want the latest Linux stable kernel
| those who want the latest Linux stable kernel
| 4.3.14, 4.3.15, 4.4.1, 4.4.2, 4.4.3
| 4.3.14, 4.3.15, 4.4.1, 4.4.2, 4.4.3

Revision as of 10:52, 22 March 2022

Package repositories with Linux vanilla kernel packages for Fedora

The Linux vanilla kernel repositories for Fedora offer RPM packages containing vanilla builds of different Linux kernel series. These packages are meant for Fedora users that want to access the latest Linux kernels quickly and comfortably; either the latest mainline kernel, the latest stable kernel or the Linux kernel from the series a particular Fedora release currently uses.

How to use these repos

How to use, the TLDR version

Download the definitions for the Kernel vanilla repositories:

curl -s | sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/kernel-vanilla.repo

Run this to install the latest mainline (aka pre-release) kernel:

sudo dnf --enablerepo=kernel-vanilla-mainline update

Run this if you want the latest stable kernel instead:

sudo dnf --enablerepo=kernel-vanilla-stable update

Reboot. That's it – at least often, as sadly additional steps are necessary sometimes:

  • If UEFI Secure Boot is active on your system (which is the case on most modern systems!), you'll have to disable it in your BIOS Setup or via mokutil --disable-validation. This is required to run kernels from these repositories, as they are not signed with a key typical systems will trust. If you don't known if UEFI Secure Boot is active on your system run mokutil --sb-state to find out.
  • The new kernel above commands install will normally get started by default. If that's not the case there is likely something fishy with your boot configuration. For example, if you start Fedora using a boot manger from a different Linux distribution on your system you might have to boot into that one and update its boot loader configuration to make it detect the newly installed kernel. In Ubuntu you for example do that by running update-grub.
  • Above "dnf update"-command doesn't offer anything to install? Then the kernel package version in the Fedora release you use is higher than the version offered in the kernel-vanilla repository you chose to use. In that case the kernel vanilla repositories are lagging behind (its maintainers sometimes are on holiday, too!), hence it might be the best to stick to the kernel your have.

You just want to use kernels from the kernel vanilla repositories for a short test? In that case once you finished your tests boot into the stock Fedora kernel again. Then uninstall all packages from these repos with the command sudo dnf remove $(rpm -qa 'kernel*' | grep '.vanilla' ).

If you would like to permanently use kernels from these repos you might want to run one of these commands, depending on the type of kernels you're interested in:

sudo dnf config-manager --set-enabled kernel-vanilla-mainline
sudo dnf config-manager --set-enabled kernel-vanilla-stable

That way dnf will automatically install the latest packages from the particular repository when it updates your system the next time.

Note: This TLDR-instructions focused on the two main repositories: 'mainline' and 'stable'. There are two more (called 'mainline-wo-mergew' and 'fedora') for other use cases described below.

A few common questions about these repositories are answered in the FAQ.

How to use, the verbose version

Configure the repositories

First download the repository definitions for DNF:

curl -s | sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/kernel-vanilla.repo

This will install a repo file with following repos:

repository description target users example versions
kernel-vanilla-mainline a mainline kernel, either built from a proper pre-release (aka "rc kernel") or a git snapshot of Linux's main development branch those who want to run the latest Linux kernel code 4.4-rc7, 4.4-rc7-git2, 4.4, 4.5-rc0-git1, 4.5-rc0-git2, 4.5-rc1, 4.5-rc1-git2
kernel-vanilla-mainline-wo-mergew identical to kernel-vanilla-mainline repo, except during the merge window, as then it will contain the latest proper mainline release or stable kernels derived from it those who normally want the latest mainline kernel, but at the same time want to play it a bit safer by avoiding mainline during the merge window. That's the phase at the beginning of a development cycle where the bulk of changes (~85 percent) for the next mainline release are merged; it's usually two weeks long, and ends with the first pre-release of a new mainline kernel, like 4.5-rc1 4.4-rc7, 4.4-rc7-git2, 4.4, 4.4.1, 4.4.2, 4.5-rc1, 4.5-rc1-git2
kernel-vanilla-stable the latest stable kernel according to; this repo thus won't ship mainline releases like 4.4 and only perform the jump to new major version line once 4.4.1 is released those who want the latest Linux stable kernel 4.3.14, 4.3.15, 4.4.1, 4.4.2, 4.4.3
kernel-vanilla-fedora contains a vanilla kernel from the stable series the kernel of a particular Fedora kernel is based on; most of the time this repository will contain the same kernels as kernel-vanilla-stable, except when Fedora hasn't yet jumped to the previous to the latest stable series yet those who want to check if vanilla kernels shows the same bug or behavior as the latest Fedora kernel 4.3.18, 4.3.19, 4.4.5, 4.4.6

Decide for yourself which of those you want to use. The following examples all assume you want to use the kernel-vanilla-mainline repository, hence adjust the commands accordingly if you want to use another repository.

Install a kernel from the repository

Run this command to install the latest kernel from the kernel vanilla mainline repo:

sudo dnf --enablerepo=kernel-vanilla-mainline update

Alternatively you can permanently enable that repository to make dnf automatically install new kernel packages when updating the system:

sudo dnf config-manager --set-enabled kernel-vanilla-mainline
sudo dnf update

When you install a kernel from the repository for the first time dnf will ask you if you trust the public key that is used to verify the signature of the packages from the kernel vanilla repositories. It will look like this:

Retrieving key from
Importing GPG key 0x863625FA:
 Userid     : "Thorsten Leemhuis (Key for signing vanilla kernel rpms) <>"
 Fingerprint: 7C71 B4C9 BF71 7876 635F 3205 4534 BEED 8636 25FA
 From       :
Is this ok [y/N]: 

Dnf will proceed once you acknowledge this.

Important notes

Please be aware that

  • none of the developers that maintain the Fedora kernel is involved in the maintenance of the Fedora kernel vanilla repositories
  • most systems work better and run in a more secure manner with the official Fedora kernels
  • if you don't understand what above dnf commands do then you likely should not use these repositories or its packages

More details about the kernel vanilla repos

What Linux kernel versions do the various branches currently contain?

Look at the file repostatus.txt or execute the following script to query the latest status locally:

releases="37 36 35 34"; \
branches="mainline mainline-wo-mergew stable fedora"; \
for branch in ${branches} ; do for release in ${releases} ; do
  queryresult=$(dnf repoquery --repofrompath=repo,${branch}/fedora-${release}/x86_64/ --disablerepo=* --enablerepo=repo --available --latest-limit=1 -q kernel 2>/dev/null)
  echo "${branch} ${release} ${queryresult:-not_available}" 
done; done | column -t | sed 's!kernel-0:!!; s!.x86_64!!;'

Who is behind this effort?

Right now the kernel vanilla repositories for Fedora are maintained by Thorsten Leemhuis (aka "knurd") only. Maybe over time people join to help, that's why this text is written as if a team is keeping care of the repositories.

Which architectures are supported

Aarch64 (aka ARM64) and x86-64 (aka AMD64, IA32E, x64, x86_64).

How can I uninstall all kernels from the kernel vanilla repositories

Boot into a stock Fedora kernel and run

sudo dnf remove $(rpm -qa 'kernel*' | grep '.vanilla' )

Dnf will then show what is about to get uninstalled; review that list carefully and make sure you still have a none vanilla kernel on your system, otherwise you loose the ability to boot your installation. Better abort if something looks fishy.

What is the goal of these repositories? Are these kernels as good as those Fedora provides?

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

ToDo list

Spec file:

  • maybe enable some of the staging drivers Fedora avoids


  • create stable-rc repo
  • automate builds fully to keep repos more up2date


  • switch to kernel-ark as base for mainline builds