Ubuntu Outlines How To Use Its Real-Time Kernel Beta - It Requires Ubuntu Advantage

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 27 April 2022 at 06:06 AM EDT. 17 Comments
With last week's release of the much anticipated Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Canonical announced they would begin providing a real-time kernel flavor too for this Long Term Support release though that RT kernel is initially in beta form. Today they outlined more information on their real-time kernel beta and how to actually go about trying it out.

With Thursday's Ubuntu 22.04 LTS announcement they also announced this new real-time kernel offering in beta. The RT kernel for x86_64 and AArch64 is tailored to meet the low latency needs and other guarantees for the teclo industry, robotics, critical infrastructure, and other industries.

The Linux real-time patches (PREEMPT_RT) have been out there for years and slowly working their way to the mainline kernel. Now that Intel acquired Linutronix, it will hopefully get over the finish line in the not too distant future. Once the RT patches are all mainlined where it's just a build-time switch away from enabling an RT kernel, we'll likely see more Linux distributions offering official RT kernel builds.

Since last week's announcement you may have been wondering how to actually go about trying out this Ubuntu real-time kernel build... Indeed I was curious too but unable to locate any new Linux real-time package in the Jammy Jellyfish archive, etc. It turns out Canonical is gating this behind Ubuntu Advantage.

Current Ubuntu Advantage plans.

There is the free tier to Ubuntu Advantage available for what is Canonical's Linux enterprise subscription plan for Ubuntu with extended security maintenance, kernel livepatching support, Landscape support, and other offerings. And now, Ubuntu RT kernel access too.

When having Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure activated on the system and running a new enough version of Ubuntu Advantage Tools, the ua enable realtime-kernel –beta command can be used for enabling the real-time kernel beta.

Ubuntu's blog post notes they are intent on bringing their real-time kernel up to a production level but no word on how quickly they are hoping to move this offering from beta to production or other plans around it.
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