Ukuu v19.01

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Ukuu v19.01 is now available with some major changes.

Starting with this version Ukuu is moving to a paid licensing model instead of accepting donations. A license needs to be purchased to use the app and receive future updates.

This change was necessary due to lack of donations. The last version of this app (v18.9) had 60,000 downloads, yet only 12 users have donated over the last 2 years. It was not possible for me to continue working on this application for free, and making it paid seemed like a better alternative than discontinuing the project.

If you are one of the few who donated to this project in the past, you will be receiving a free license for the paid version. Please drop me an email if you want one.


A personal license is available for purchase. This is a single-user license that is valid for lifetime, and includes future updates.

What’s New

New UI

  • The UI was updated to make it easier to use. Available kernels are now grouped by series.
  • Status bar now displays the running kernel version and available updates.

Faster update check

  • Checking for new kernels now takes less than a second. There’s no need to build a cache as in previous versions. 
  • The check for internet connection was removed, as it was causing problems for some users. The app will now try to download packages without checking the connection, and report an error if the download fails.

Better Notifications

The notification window will auto-close after 10 seconds if the user does not select an action.

Automatic Updates

There’s a new option to download and install updates automatically. The update happens in the background and displays a notification dialog after installing the new kernel.

If automatic updates are enabled, you can choose to stay on the same series or move to the next series. You can also choose to wait for the first point update before moving to a new series.

You can also choose to automatically remove older kernels after a new kernel is installed. For safety, a few older kernels will be kept so that you can recover from a bad update.

Signature verification

Signatures will be verified for the downloaded packages using the GPG-signed hashes (CHECKSUMS, CHECKSUMS.gpg) that are provided in the PPA.

The public key for the Mainline PPA will be added to your system.

$ gpg --keyserver hkps:// --recv-key "60AA7B6F30434AE68E569963E50C6A0917C622B0"

New command-line options

  • New options are available for listing kernels. It is now possible to specify the minimum and maximum version, and list kernels from a specific series.
--min <version>     Exclude kernels lower than specified version
--max <version> Exclude kernels higher than specified version
--series <version> Include kernels only from specified series
--rc Include unstable kernels
--no-rc Exclude unstable kernels (default)
  • You can now install the latest kernel without specifying the version, by using the command --install-latest
# install latest stable kernel
$ sudo ukuu --install-latest

# install RC kernel
$ sudo ukuu --install-latest --rc

# install for current/running series
$ sudo ukuu --install-latest --same-series
  • There’s a new option --scripted that prints output in a format that is easier to parse. This is useful for using Ukuu in scripts.
$ sudo ukuu --list-update --scripted


Log files are saved automatically in ~/.cache/ukuu/logs. You can also save them manually from the terminal window.

Issues Fixed

  • Some issues were fixed in comparing kernel version strings between stable/RC kernels and between mainline/official kernels. These will now be sorted correctly relative to each other.
  • Some issues were fixed where the same kernel would be displayed twice in the list


A personal license is currently available for $11. This is a single-user license that is valid for lifetime, and includes future updates.

Buy License

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. gothicVI

    So ukuu now completely turned into a closed source project?

    1. Tony George


      Older versions are still open-source. Somebody can develop that version further if they have the time and interest. I may open the source again if I stop working on it (it won’t happen anytime soon).

      1. Tony George

        An open-source license makes sense when there are multiple developers working on a project. That’s when it becomes a real community-developed software. Timeshift for example, has significant code contributions from multiple developers. Even if I stopped working on it, there are people who understand the application well enough to maintain and develop it further. I can’t say the same for Ukuu, Polo and other applications.

        Open-sourcing an application where you are the only developer simply increases your workload (as more and more people request changes) without benefiting you in any way. FOSS projects can be fun initially if you have the time and energy, but can become a problem as the number of users increase and the requests keep piling up. I have been ignoring the requests in the issue tracker for Ukuu, Polo, and other applications for the last few months. There are thousands of people using these applications and all of them have requests for adding new features. It’s not possible for one person to work on all of them. I have other things I like doing on weekends instead of working for free for random strangers on the internet. It may sound rude but these are realities that most people don’t understand.

        I have drastically reduced the time I spend on coding during weekends. But I still enjoy coding and will continue making software for my own use. Some will be free and some will be paid.

  2. Dave Richer

    Add in low latency and I will consider purchasing

    1. Tony George

      Sure, next version maybe

      1. Sami Mannila

        Low latency kernels would be a good idea to include. I think many would find that useful ?

  3. Dirk Engelage

    I bought a license, but can’t find a download link for the new (paid) version.

    1. Tony George

      Hi Dirk, I have sent you an email with the download links

      1. Dirk Engelage

        Hi Tony,
        I found it, thanks. And apologies for my impatience. I should have read better; reply with links within two days …
        One question though; should I remove the free version first? Or can I install right over it?

        1. Tony George

          You can install over it. It will replace the free one.

  4. Welly Wu

    Where is my license? I just paid for this app.

    1. Tony George

      Hi Welly, I have sent you an email with the license

      1. wellywu

        Would you please resend the email message again? I would also like to know how I can keep my paid UKUU software package up to date in the future. Thanks.

      2. Tony George

        Hi, I have re-sent the email. Please check if the previous email went to your Junk folder.
        I will be sending you the updated packages when future versions are released.

  5. Evgen

    I’m sorry but it’s a bad move. GUI is nice but price is really questionable.
    1) Those kernel are not meant to be used by regular users because:
    a. It’s compiled with newer GCC so the may be incompatibility with NVidia proprietary driverl (it was the case with Ubuntu 14.04 and GCC 4.8)
    b. They don’t have Ubuntu patches which means that compatibility could be lower
    Some Ubuntu kernel repositories (Liquorix for example) takes care about recompiling kernel for target distro.
    2) Your tool doesn’t cover other software/drivers incompatibility (like broadcom, virtualbox). When guys from MX Linux backport kernel, they also add updates stuff compatible with that kernel.
    3) I guess that for the user which is able to deal mentioned above breakages, it’s not hard just to find right page, download few debs and install them with GDebi.
    So this paid model doesn’t work for mem unless you make repository with recompiled kernels and updated drivers for supported distros.
    Sorry for my English and bad review. Please take it as constructive criticism.

    1. Tony George

      1) These kernels are not meant for production use. But you can still use them if you want to, without running into problems. And in case you run into a problem, you can recover from it easily by booting to an older kernel and uninstalling the new one. This is something that even a regular user can do.
      The worst that can happen is that you won’t be able to use the latest mainline kernel because it is causing problems with your system. Then you will have to stay on the last mainline kernel that is working for you, or switch back to the official Ubuntu kernel.

      2) The issues that you see with the proprietary drivers are because the kernels are too new. The packages in the Ubuntu repositories are usually out-of-date and are meant to be used with the older version of the kernel provided in the official repository. It takes a few months for the software to catch-up and add support for the new kernel. There’s no solution for this if you are using a Ubuntu-based distro. Packages in official repositories will always be a few months behind. ArchLinux/Manjaro is much better in this regard as they have the latest packages in their repositories.

      If you are using VirtualBox you can install it from the PPA provided by Oracle. They keep it up-to-date with the latest version of the kernel. For example, VirtualBox 6.0 in the Oracle PPA was updated to support the 4.20 kernel even before the first stable 4.20 kernel was released. The VirtualBox package in Ubuntu 18.04 repositories is still stuck on v5.2.

      3) As far as functionality is concerned, this app simply provides a GUI for downloading kernels from the PPA and installing it. Everything this app does can also be done manually. This is true for every software. This tool simply provides a convenience. There are other tools available which do the same thing, and even the previous version of Ukuu is available in case you need it. There is no need to buy this app if you don’t want to. Every kind of software will not be useful to every user.

      1. Evgen

        Thanks for the answer.
        My concern about Nvidia was that one time when I tried those kernels it was impossible to install Nvidia driver from run file. Kernel was compiled with GCC 4.9 but Ubuntu 14.04 had GCC 4.8 so I needed to update GCC from ppa:ubuntu-toolchain-r/test.
        Now we have ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa which updates quite often (so don’t need those run files that much). And if on recent Ubuntu-s we don’t need to install newer GCC just to install Nvidia driver then it’s very good. I never tried it this way on Ubuntu 16.04+ because since then I learned how to reompile/backport kernel from newer Ubuntu.

  6. Chris

    First of all, I am saddened to hear from this decision but I can understand your point.
    I have a few questions regarding the paid version before I pay.
    1. Will it still be available as a PPA or do I have to download and install deb/snap packages manually?
    2. Are there plans to include a config file that the commandline tool will use too? As in I don’t have to limit the version range for every command?
    3. Are there any schedules/roadmaps or similar for this software? I once paid for a software that quickly became abandonware after the move to closed source, so forgive me for being cautious here. 11$ are not much but still pretty steep compared to other projects.
    4. Will there be an alternative Issuetracker to report bugs, file feature requests and see development progress?

    1. Tony George

      Hi Chris

      1) Currently the DEB packages need to be installed manually. Launchpad PPAs are only for open-source projects. I’m planning to set up a private APT repository it involves additional expenditure. I will be setting it up if I sell enough licenses.

      2) The config file is currently used only by the GUI. I can add a config file for the command line tool. What are the options that you want the command line tool to remember? Are –min, –max and –rc enough?

      3) The software that I create are for my own use. I’m selling these to make up for the time I spend on it. If I sell enough licenses I will be spending more time on development. Even if it doesn’t sell well enough, I will still be developing it for my own use, so it’s not likely to be abandoned.

      As far as this app is concerned, it is a simple tool for a simple job. It is feature-complete and stable. Future updates will fix bugs, improve performance, and add any features that are genuinely useful. I won’t be updating it for the sake of updating, and I won’t be adding features that I don’t agree with. If your requests are reasonable then I’ll be more than happy to add it.

      4) There’s an issue tracker for the paid version.
      It’s currently public, but I will be moving to a private issue tracker which will be accessible to people who have paid for the software.

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