How to Update your Linode's Existing Kernel
Updated by Linode Contributed by Linode
This guide is about updating your Linode’s current kernel to a newer version. For information on how to change which kind of kernel your Linode runs, check out the How to Change your Linode’s Kernel guide.
Which Kernel Am I Running?
Your Linode is capable of running one of three kinds of kernels:
An upstream kernel that is maintained and provided by your Linux distribution’s authors (this is also referred to as the distribution-supplied kernel).
The Linode kernel. Linode maintains an up-to-date kernel: Linode’s engineering team monitors for new versions of the Linux kernel and then packages them for users shortly after they are available. These kernels are not installed on your filesystem–instead, the Linode Manager supplies them to your system when it boots.
NoteA version history for Linode’s kernel is available here.
A kernel that you compile from source.
The steps needed to update your kernel vary depending on the type of kernel you are running. To find out which type you’re using, SSH into your Linode and run the following command:
If your output contains
linode in the version tag, then you are running the Linode kernel:
If your output contains
generic in the version tag, then you are probably running a distribution-supplied kernel:
Update Your Linode Kernel with Linode’s Cloud Manager
Select the Linode from the Dashboard and click the Disks/Configs tab.
Find your current Configuration, click on the More Options Ellipses menu and select Edit.
Scroll to the Boot Settings section.
Select Latest 64 bit from the Select a Kernel dropdown (if you need a 32-bit kernel, select Latest 32 bit) and click the Submit button to save the changes.
Reboot the Linode to boot into the new kernel and verify the kernel version:
Update your Distribution-Supplied Kernel
If you boot your Linode using the GRUB2 or Direct Disk boot setting, your kernel is supplied by your distribution’s maintainers, not Linode. If you’ve compiled your own kernel, download a new set of kernel sources and recompile.
Update your kernel to the latest available version using the distribution’s package manager:
sudo yum update kernel
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade linux-base
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade linux-generic
Reboot the Linode. When it comes back up, use the command
uname -r to verify which version you are running. It’s recommend that you compare your new kernel version against the patched version given in your distribution’s security bulletin: CentOS; Debian; Ubuntu.
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This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.