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Chapter 28. Manually Upgrading the Kernel

28.1. Overview of Kernel Packages
28.2. Preparing to Upgrade
28.3. Downloading the Upgraded Kernel
28.4. Performing the Upgrade
28.5. Verifying the Initial RAM Disk Image
28.6. Verifying the Boot Loader
28.6.1. Configuring the GRUB Boot Loader
28.6.2. Configuring the OS/400® Boot Loader
28.6.3. Configuring the YABOOT Boot Loader
The Fedora kernel is custom-built by the Fedora kernel team to ensure its integrity and compatibility with supported hardware. Before Red Hat releases a kernel, it must first pass a rigorous set of quality assurance tests.
Fedora kernels are packaged in the RPM format so that they are easy to upgrade and verify using the Yum or PackageKit package managers. PackageKit automatically queries the Red Hat Network servers and informs you of packages with available updates, including kernel packages.
This chapter is therefore only useful for users who need to manually update a kernel package using the rpm command instead of yum.

Use Yum to Install Kernels Whenever Possible

Whenever possible, use either the Yum or PackageKit package manager to install a new kernel because they always install a new kernel instead of replacing the current one, which could potentially leave your system unable to boot.
For more information on installing kernel packages with Yum, refer to Section 1.1.2, “Updating Packages”.

28.1. Overview of Kernel Packages

Fedora contains the following kernel packages:
  • kernel — Contains the kernel for single, multicore and multiprocessor systems.
  • kernel-devel — Contains the kernel headers and makefiles sufficient to build modules against the kernel package.
  • kernel-doc — Contains documentation files from the kernel source. Various portions of the Linux kernel and the device drivers shipped with it are documented in these files. Installation of this package provides a reference to the options that can be passed to Linux kernel modules at load time.
    By default, these files are placed in the /usr/share/doc/kernel-doc-<kernel_version>/ directory.
  • kernel-headers — Includes the C header files that specify the interface between the Linux kernel and user-space libraries and programs. The header files define structures and constants that are needed for building most standard programs.
  • kernel-firmware — Contains all of the firmware files that are required by various devices to operate.
  • perf — Technically a documentation instead of kernel package, perf contains supporting documentation for the perf tool shipped in each kernel image subpackage.

Note: kernel-source package availability

The kernel-source package has been removed and replaced with a source RPM package that can only be retrieved from Red Hat Network. This SRPM package must then be built locally using the rpmbuild command. For more information on obtaining and installing the kernel source package, refer to the latest updated Fedora 13 Release Notes (and their updates) at