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Old 11-18-2010, 04:06 AM   #1
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Multiple Versions of Kernel On A Desktop

Hi. Can anyone please guide..
I have Linux Kernel version 2.4.20-8 running on my desktop system . I want newer version 2.6 also to run on my system, so that at boot up I can choose which kernel version to boot.
I have compiled 2.6 kernel n place bzImage to /boot.

I have Red Hat Linux release 9 (Shrike).

Please Reply.
Old 11-18-2010, 08:53 AM   #2
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I don't think that you can run a modern 2.6-kernel in a system that was build for 2.4-kernels. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Anyways, I would recommend to update to a new distro, Red Hat 9 is very obsolete, you get no security updates.
Old 11-22-2010, 12:06 AM   #3
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Thanks, but is it possible to have two linux kernel versions on a desktop server?? And one can choose one of them at boot-up time. (Not specific to any Kernel version). If yes, how??

Old 11-22-2010, 08:00 AM   #4
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What you want can be achieved with a multiboot setup.
It is easy to create partitions to contain different operating systems and use a boot loader to select the operating system that you wish to boot.
There is a lot of information on the internet about this, but this will get you started.
Old 11-22-2010, 08:25 AM   #5
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You can have multiple kernels in /boot. All you have to do is edit grub or lilo so that each kernel in /boot will be an option at boot time. That said, each kernel should be uniquely named to remember what its for. Also, there could be issues if using proprietary graphics drivers. That won't matter on a server without x running.
Old 11-22-2010, 12:04 PM   #6
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Having multiple kernels is just an issue of putting them in /boot (or any other place you can access at boot time), and then configuring your boot loader (usually lilo or grub if you use a pc).

Using a 2.6 kernel (overall a modern one) in a 2.4 OS is usually impossible without massive hacking, because of things like udev vs. devfs, libata, 3rd party drivers, etc. etc.
Old 11-22-2010, 01:20 PM   #7
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what you want to do IS NORMAL behavior whenever there is a kernel update the old one is left on the system as a back up
there is NO WAY that the VERY VERY OLD rh9 can use a current and modern 2.6 kernel
RH9 is just way too old
if you ARE going to use Red Hat
then install the current RHEL 6
and BUY a license . RHEL is not free
Old 11-27-2010, 05:15 AM   #8
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I would switch to RedHat clones which are free. CentOS and Scientific linux are almost identical but may have some extra features.

The crucial feature they don't have is the full RedHat support but to make up for that they both have forums and of course still have documentation although RedHat documentation still works for both anyway.

I'm not sure about the practicalities. I think i would start by trying CentOS on a separate machine just to have a quick look around and see how familiar it is. Then try Scientific Linux to compare all 3. Then try a LiveCd of CentOS (if possible) on the main machine to check hardware compatibility, then install on the main machine as a dual-boot.

Dual-boot would allow you to reboot back into the working RHEL if you found any system that does not work 100% the way you like, and then you could do installs & configurations to get all the programs you need sorted out on CentOS done at a more convenient time for you.

Good luck and regards from

Last edited by Tom6; 11-27-2010 at 05:16 AM. Reason: grammer


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