A Kernel Manager

Author: @sandmaan

AKM is a simple GUI to manage the kernels. AKM is part of the EndeavourOS tool kit. But it can be used with any other Arch-based distribution. The letters AKM stands for “A Kernel Manager” according to the main developer who created this wonderful app.

AKM supplies the user with a Graphical User Interface with a list of kernels. The user can select a kernel version he/she wants to install.

Unlike when you use the terminal to install and configure, using AKM takes care of everything on behalf of the user. This Includes updating the GRUB, which normally needs to be done using another set of commands. >Small secret – even though it appears that AKM takes care of the GRUB update, It’s actually a pacman hook from the EndeavourOS package grub-tools which makes it happen. Shhhh … don’t tell any one … !

Installing AKM

AKM doesn’t come preinstalled due to the minimalistic philosophy followed by the EndeavourOS team. So users who want to use AKM have to install it from the “Welcome app” or through pacman in the terminal.

Installing from Welcome app

Installing from terminal

To install AKM via the terminal, you can use sudo pacman -S akm

Using AKM GUI

Using AKM is straightforward. From the GUI, a user can check the checkbox in front of the kernel package name which will mark that kernel to be installed. If the user wishes to uninstall a particular kernel then he/she just has to uncheck the kernel package from the list. Once they have selected or unselected the kernel package to change the status of, they only have to click on Execute to apply the changes. Refer to the image above for clarity.

Terminal Usage

You can use AKM via the terminal, with or without options. Using akm will launch the main AKM GUI. But a user can use the below options to change some characteristics of AKM.

  • --connect-header – Which will bind the kernel header package and the selected kernel into one unit. As an example, if a user chose to install or uninstall the kernel linux-zen then using --connect-header option will bind the linux-zen-headers to the install or uninstall.
  • --scroll – It allows the kernel list to be scrollable. By default, it’s just a static list.

Advance Configuration

By using the AKM configuration file users can customize how AKM works. You can find the configuration file at /etc/akm.conf. Below is the example code of the mentioned file.

#!/bin/bash

### Config file for akm.

# When installing/uninstalling a kernel, you may configure to
# install/uninstall the related header too.
# Values: "yes" or "no"
# Default: no
local KERNEL_HEADER_WITH_KERNEL=no

# List of kernel and header names when using additional repos.
# Example:
#   local AKM_KERNELS_HEADERS=(
#       reponame/linux-xxx  reponame/linux-xxx-headers
#       reponame/linux-yyy  reponame/linux-yyy-headers
#       ...
#   )
# where
#    reponame   The name of an additional repository.
#    linux-xxx  The name of a kernel.
#
local AKM_KERNELS_HEADERS=(
)

# Width of the akm window in pixels.
# Default: 900
local AKM_WINDOW_WIDTH=900
VariableDescriptionSupported Value
KERNEL_HEADER_WITH_KERNEL
Provides the same function asthe --connect-header option,
binding the header package
with the kernel package.
no(default) or yes
AKM_KERNELS_HEADERS Lists the additional kernel
and header names when using
additional repositories.
List of reponame/pkgname entries.
AKM_WINDOW_WIDTH Predefines the width of the
akm GUI window.
A positive integer (number) in pixels. Default is 900

Adding a New (unofficial) Package Repository

If a user wishes to more kernels he/she can add the corresponding repository to the /etc/pacman.conf. After adding the repository user must perform a database sync using sudo pacman -Syy or sudo pacman -Syyu. Once this is done, if the repository contains any kernel packages then AKM will try to add them to the list and show them.

Ex:\
An unofficial kernel repo.

[kernel-lts]
Server = https://repo.m2x.dev/current/$repo/$arch

Using Caveat Method to Add Kernels

This method of automatically detecting kernel names is limited because kernels can be named in various ways. Use configuration variable AKM_KERNELS_HEADERS (mentioned above) to add a list of kernel and header names from an additional repository. This is useful if the automatic kernel name detection does not recognize certain kernel names.

Just as an example, to use the info from the picture above, your /etc/akm.conf could look something like this:

#!/bin/bash

### Config file for akm.

# When installing/uninstalling a kernel, you may configure to
# install/uninstall the related header too.
# Values: "yes" or "no"
# Default: no
local KERNEL_HEADER_WITH_KERNEL=yes

# List of kernel and header names when using additional repos.
# Example:
#   local AKM_KERNELS_HEADERS=(
#       reponame/linux-xxx  reponame/linux-xxx-headers
#       reponame/linux-yyy  reponame/linux-yyy-headers
#       ...
#   )
# where
#    reponame   The name of an additional repository.
#    linux-xxx  The name of a kernel.
#
local AKM_KERNELS_HEADERS=(
    kernel-lts/linux-lts414  kernel-lts/linux-lts414-headers
    kernel-lts/linux-lts419  kernel-lts/linux-lts419-headers
    kernel-lts/linux-lts44   kernel-lts/linux-lts44-headers
    # and so on...
)

# Width of the akm window in pixels.
# Default: 900
local AKM_WINDOW_WIDTH=1000
  • Show and tell again 🙂
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