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retghy 05-27-2013 08:08 AM

Using latest kernel on a not so new distro
Hello to all good morning.

I'd like to know if there is any limitation about installing the latest version of linux kernel in for example Debian version 6.0.4 (squeeze)?

Does this affects in any way its stability?

Or is it even possible without upgrading other packages like gnome?

Thank you very much in advanced.

273 05-27-2013 08:36 AM

As I understand it you can run into problems when your versions of libraries or compilers are of older versions than the newer kernel was designed to be compiled with. The kernel itself though ought to be backwards-compatible (but is not 100% guaranteed to be).
I compile my own kernel on Debian and have had no problems, though I am running Sid.
I roughly followed the following with some minor changes*:
There may be better guides out there but at least following this one your kernel is installed using dpkg so it is automatically added to grub and it can easily be removed using apt, Synaptic or whatever if you want to.

*(I downloaded
Because the above is a tar.xz I issued "tar -Jxvf linux-3.9.4.tar.xz" -- note the upper-case 'J'
I didn't disable Xen
I used "make localmodconfig" before "make menuconfig"
To compile I issued "time fakeroot make-kpkg -j 8 --initrd --append-to-version=-myuser kernel_image kernel_headers" so that I could see how long it took, instruct make to use 8 threads where possible and used my own name for the kernel)

retghy 05-27-2013 09:47 AM

Hello, thanks for your reply.

So it is possible to install latest kernels to Debian Squeeze (6.0.4) for example without troubles.

I thought that after certain version newest kernels were not installable.

I got that idea because there is not much on google when you search kernel 3.9 in debian squeeze.

Thank you very much.

273 05-27-2013 09:55 AM

I think it should be OK but I am not 100% sure. If it's a production system then I wouldn't do it but if this is a home system you are "playing" with then I'd say it's worth a try.

jdkaye 05-27-2013 10:15 AM

If you're using Grub and have several linux-images (the one you're using now that works, for example) then you can always install a new version which will appear at the top of the grub menu. You can try out the new kernel and if it doesn't work just reboot select the older kernel from the grub menu. You can then delete that newer kernel that doesn't work and be all the wiser and none the worse. ;)

retghy 05-27-2013 10:18 AM

Well, that's the thing, it is a production machine, it's my workstation. I'm using version 3.2 of linux kernel without problem but these debs are found in the official debian backports repository.

I've never compiled a new kernel before but I will follow the instructions found in the link you provided.

Thank you again.

retghy 06-03-2013 07:27 AM

I just want to let you all know that I successfully compiled kernel 3.9 in Debian squeeze 6.0.4 following the guide provided by the fellow 273.

Final files:


The only problem I had was with a folder not found Documentation/lguest....

What I did was create a symbolic from tools/lguest, that's where I found that folder.

Thank you all.

jdkaye 06-03-2013 09:17 AM

Glad to hear about your success.
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