Chapter 23. Ugrading the Kernel

The Red Hat Linux kernel is custom built by the Red Hat kernel team to ensure its integrity and compatibility with supported hardware. Before Red Hat releases a kernel, it must pass a rigorous set of quality assurance tests.

Official Red Hat Linux kernels are packaged in RPM format so that they are easy to upgrade and verify. For example, the kernel RPM package creates the initrd image; it is not necessary to use the mkinitrd command after installing a different kernel if you install the kernel from the Red Hat RPM package. It also modifies the boot loader configuration file to boot the new kernel if either GRUB or LILO is installed.

This chapter discusses the steps necessary to upgrade the kernel on an x86 system only.


Building your own custom kernel is not supported by the Red Hat Linux Installation Support Team. For more information on building a custom kernel from the source code, refer to Appendix A.

The 2.4 Kernel

Red Hat Linux ships with a custom 2.4 kernel, which offers the following features: