Performing the Upgrade

Now that you have the necessary kernel RPM packages, you can upgrade your existing kernel. At a shell prompt as root, change to the directory that contains the kernel RPM packages and follow these steps.

You probably want to keep the older kernel in case you have problems with the new kernel. Use the -i argument instead of -U to install the kernel package (the kernel version and x86 version might vary):

rpm -ivh kernel-2.4.18-0.12.i386.rpm 

If the system is a multi-processor system, install the kernel-smp packages as well (the kernel version and x86 version might vary):

rpm -ivh kernel-smp-2.4.18-0.12.i386.rpm 

If the system is i686-based and contains more than 4 gigabytes of RAM, install the kernel-bigmem package built for the i686 architecture as well (the kernel version might vary):

rpm -ivh kernel-bigmem-2.4.18-0.12.i686.rpm 

If you plan to upgrade the kernel-source, kernel-docs, or kernel-utils packages, you probably do not need to keep the older versions. Use the following commands to upgrade these packages (the versions might vary):

rpm -Uvh kernel-source-2.4.18-0.12.i386.rpm 
rpm -Uvh kernel-docs-2.4.18-0.12.i386.rpm
rpm -Uvh kernel-utils-2.4.18-0.12.i386.rpm

If you are using PCMCIA (for example, a laptop), you also need to install the kernel-pcmcia-cs and keep the old version. If you use the -i switch, it will probably return a conflict because the older kernel needs this package to boot with PCMCIA support. To work around this, use the --force switch as follows (the version might vary):

rpm -ivh --force kernel-pcmcia-cs-3.1.24-2.i386.rpm 

If you are using the ext3 file system or a SCSI controller, you need an initial RAM disk. The purpose of the initial RAM disk is to allow a modular kernel to have access to modules that it might need to boot from before the kernel has access to the device where the modules normally reside.

The initial RAM disk is created by using the mkinitrd command. However, the Red Hat kernel RPM package performs this step for you. To verify that it was created, use the command ls -l /boot. You should see the file initrd-2.4.18-0.12.img (the version should match the version of the kernel you just installed).

Now that you have installed the new kernel, you need to configure the boot loader to boot the new kernel. Refer to the Section called Configuring the Boot Loader for details.