How To Install The Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS Hardware Enablement Stack

Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS hardware enablement stack

Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS was released on Friday for Desktop, Server and Cloud. This point release includes application updates, bug fixes, and a new hardware enablement stack.

See the Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS release announcement, and the desktop and server updates and fixes.

Let me quickly explain what "point release" and "hardware enablement stack" mean. An Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) point release contains bug fixes and package updates since the initial release, as well as support for newer hardware through an hardware enablement stack. A LTS hardware enablement stack (HWE) provides newer kernel and X for an existing Ubuntu LTS release.

In this first hardware enablement stack for Ubuntu 18.04, the kernel and X are backported from Ubuntu 18.10. In the next scheduled HWE, to be released in August 2019 (18.04.3), the kernel and X packages will be backported from Ubuntu 19.04. You can view an Ubuntu 18.04.x kernel support schedule here.

If you're already using Ubuntu 18.04 with all available updates installed, you already have the fixes and package updates mentioned in the Ubuntu 18.04.2 release notes, but not the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS hardware enablement stack.

If you want to use the LTS hardware enablement stack on Ubuntu 18.04 (desktop), you can install it using:

sudo apt install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-18.04 xserver-xorg-hwe-18.04

On Ubuntu 18.04 server only install the hardware enablement stack kernel package:

sudo apt install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-18.04

Reboot your system after the installation is completed.

This installs a newer kernel (it installs version 4.18; without this, Ubuntu 18.04 uses Linux 4.15) and X (it installs version 1.20.1; without this, Ubuntu 18.04 uses version 1.19.6).

If you want to check the date until your system is supported by Canonical, and see if you have a hardware enablement stack installed, you can use this command:

hwe-support-status --verbose

This is output of the hwe-support-status --verbose command in Ubuntu 18.04, without and with the LTS hardware enablement stack installed:

$ hwe-support-status --verbose
You are not running a system with a Hardware Enablement Stack. Your system is supported until April 2023.

$ hwe-support-status --verbose
Your Hardware Enablement Stack (HWE) is supported until April 2023.