Chapter 39. Upgrading the Kernel

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux kernel is custom built by the Red Hat 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.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux kernels are packaged in RPM format so that they are easy to upgrade and verify. For example, when the kernel RPM package distributed by Red Hat, Inc. is installed, an initrd image is created; thus, it is not necessary to use the mkinitrd command after installing a different kernel. It also modifies the boot loader configuration file to include the new kernel.


Building a custom kernel is not supported by the Red Hat Installation Support Team. For more information on building a custom kernel from the source code, refer to Appendix A Building a Custom Kernel.

39.1. Overview of Kernel Packages

Red Hat Enterprise Linux contains the following kernel packages (some may not apply to your architecture):