I would like to upgrade kernel without compiling from source code i.e. binary upgrade. How do I perform the actual upgrade of the kernel in Linux?
You need to compile kernel only if:
=> You need custom made kernel for specific task such as embedded kernel.
=> Apply third party security patches.
=> You need to apply specific patch to Linux
Upgrade of the kernel in Red Hat enterprise Linux version <= 4.x
If your system is registered with Red Hat Network (RHN), then you can use the up2date command as follows:
# up2date -f kernel
For SMP kernel (multi core or multiple CPU) use command:
# up2date -f kernel-smp
Upgrade of the kernel in Fedora Linux / CentOS / RHEL 5
Use yum command to upgrade kernel:
# yum update kernel
If you have downloaded RPM file use rpm command:
# rpm -ivh kernel*
Upgrade of the kernel in Debian or Ubuntu Linux
Use apt-get command. First find your kernel version:
$ uname -r
Next find available kernel images:
$ apt-cache search linux-image
Now install kernel by explicitly specifying version number:
# apt-get install linux-image-x.x.x-xx
$ sudo apt-get install linux-image-x.x.x-xx