|Red Hat Linux 7.2: The Official Red Hat Linux Customization Guide|
|Prev||Chapter 23. Ugrading the Kernel||Next|
Before you upgrade your kernel, you need to take a few precautionary steps. The first step is to make sure you have a working boot diskette for your system in case a problem occurs. If the boot loader is not configured properly to boot the new kernel, you will not be able to boot your system unless you have a boot diskette.
To create a boot diskette for your system, you need to determine which version of the kernel you are currently running. Execute the following command:
You must be root to create a boot diskette for your system. Login as root at a shell prompt, and type the following command (where kernelversion is the output of the uname -r command):
Refer to the man page for mkbootdisk for more options.
Reboot your machine with the boot disk and verify that it works before continuing.
Hopefully, you will not have to use the diskette, but you should store it in a safe place just in case.
You should also determine which kernel packages you have installed. Some are optional and not required to use the kernel. For example, the kernel-doc package contains all the documentation for the kernel and is not required to boot the kernel. The kernel-source package is also not required because you do not have to compile the kernel from source.
To determine which kernel packages you have installed, execute the following command at a shell prompt:
rpm -qa | grep kernel
The output will contain some or all of the following packages, depending on what type of installation you performed (your version numbers may differ):
kernel-headers-2.4.7-3 kernel-2.4.7-3 kernel-source-2.4.7-3 kernel-doc-2.4.7-3 kernel-pcmcia-cs-3.1.24-2
From the output, you can determine which packages you need to download for the kernel upgrade. The only required package is the kernel-version-number package. If you are uprgrading the kernel on a laptop or are using PCMCIA, the kernel-pcmcia-cs package is also required.
You do not need the kernel-headers and kernel-source packages unless you plan to recompile the kernel yourself or plan to perform kernel development. The kernel-doc package contains kernel development documentation and is not required.