Are custom kernels such as Liquorix and Xanmod worth it?

I’ve heard a lot about other kernels like Zen Liquorix and Xanmod, but i wonder if any of these bring improvements that are worth my time, it would be really great if these kernels allow me to get a bit more juice out of my hardware or make things smoother and more responsive, i have an integrated gpu and i’ve heard that Liquorix has a few patches from Clear Linux.

Already replied to this exact same question in one of your other thread, like yesterday.

here Cpu max frequency locked to 1.80 ghz - #6 by omano and here Cpu max frequency locked to 1.80 ghz - #9 by omano

Answer is definitely NO.

I’m aware of your reply but i want to know others opinions, i can’t decide based on a single opinion i need to know what others think about it, that’s why i made a thread for this subject specifically.

IMO the only real advantage of a custom kernel is if you need a particular feature/driver that’s not available in stock kernel. Some people install zen kernel for anbox support I believe

Fair enough, but it is known and documented these kernel do nothing if what you seek is more gaming performance. Look at all the Phoronix benchmark, or other independent benchmarks.

PS: I was not the only one replying.

What can make the difference, in some cases, is different drivers, different Proton version if you game with Proton, better game configurations, and so on… Kernel will not “boost” your performance (performance can differ on different kernel version though, but these customized kernel are a no go for me, and many people who studied the question).

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Worth is a subjective decision that you really need to make for yourself

How many opinions do you need…or are you just looking for the one response that says something on the order of yeah, it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread ???

You should just do you. If it works for you, great…it matters not one bit what anyone else’s opinion is; keeping in mind that opinions are like $FAVORITE_ANATOMICAL_PART…almost everyone has one.

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Here some benchmarks for you The XanMod Kernel Is Working Well To Boost Ubuntu Desktop / Workstation Performance - Phoronix

But as said above you do you. Test by yourself and see the result.

//EDIT: another source for benchmarks kernel benchmark - بحث Google‏

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You can just look through everyone’s opinions on the subreddit I linked you in the previous post.

That a subreddit focused on Linux Gaming. You’d get better answers from there.

But general consensus is that it isn’t worth it.


Which kernel would you recommend for general usage and gaming? Latest or LTS?

Whatever kernel works best for your setup. I have already answered this question in detail:

You have a I5 8265U 8th gen, you can probably just stay on Kernel 5.10 LTS from now on (until it’s EOL), or if you see on Phoronix (or similar websites) that some newer Kernels have better support for your specific CPU/iGPU.

Honestly, I wouldn’t worry about newer kernels when it comes to intel iGPUs, unless it’s absolutely a brand new just released CPU/iGPU. Ryzen iGPUs are a totally different story, I personally try to stay on the latest kernels (currently 5.11) for my Ryzen iGPU laptops, and AMD dGPU desktops, unless there is a regression.

I’ve seen on Phoronix that Linus made some new optimizations for intel CPUs on kernel 5.11, it felt faster and more responsive compared to 5.10 when i tried it

Then you can use kernel 5.11! Just know that not every new kernel has updates to your CPU/iGPU. You just have to keep up with the news with every kernel RC and stable release.

I like using Phoronix for this info because they outline it pretty well. I have them on RSS on my Android phone.

There is also this:

EDIT: You might want to check out this website too as they sometimes write gaming articles related to kernels

Phoronix and gaming on linux also have their own telegram channels if you prefer to follow things on that platform

The answer to this question is heavily dependent on the context. One the one hand, if the context is Linux native software the answer is “not really” (except for very new hardware).

On the other hand, if the context is gaming with Wine / Proton; yes it matters very much that your kernel has FSYNC or ESYNC support! I think Manjaro since 5.7 has FSYNC and ESYNC support, and Xanmod has had it for a while longer.

Since you also mention

it might also matter (considerably) if you are using the latest drivers (assuming Intel now since they are in the Linux-tree and will in general be updated along newer kernels).

For example, I am using linux-manjaro-xanmod, but not for the Xanmod-performance alone (and I do not know if there is any significant increase with my setup right now since I’ve modified my rig since I last did serious bench-marking a year or so ago), and I started to use Xanmod due to FSYNC support a while back and I have continued since.

In short, for

  • all native Linux-uses; I do not think it matters that much (in my experience), and is rather a matter of personal preference.
  • all Wine / Proton use; Xanmod historically has included more Wine-geared patches, which significantly improves gaming performance in some cases. However, I have no experience with Liquorix.
  • all other cases; preferably run them horses!
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I installed Clear Linux Kernel 5.10.64-1-clear-lts from AUR(choosing my processor microarchitecture in PKGBuild) and the performance is really better than Generic Kernel of Manjaro.