How to Upgrade Linux Kernel on CentOS

The Linux kernel is the core component of any Linux-based operating system. It is responsible for managing system resources, hardware, and providing essential services to applications. CentOS is a popular Linux distribution that is widely used on servers, and staying up-to-date with the latest kernel is crucial for ensuring the stability, performance, and security of your system.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of upgrading the Linux kernel on a CentOS system.

The problem we address here is the potential vulnerability, compatibility issues, or performance limitations associated with an outdated kernel version. To resolve this issue, we will demonstrate how to upgrade your CentOS system’s kernel to the latest version available. The desired outcome is an updated, more secure, and better-performing system.

See also  How to Download CentOS 7 ISO

Step 1: Update Your System

Before upgrading the kernel, it’s essential to update your CentOS system to ensure all existing packages are up-to-date.

sudo yum update -y

Step 2: Install the ELRepo Repository

The ELRepo repository contains newer kernel versions for CentOS. Add the repository to your system:

sudo rpm --import
sudo yum install -y

Step 3: Install the Latest Kernel

Install the latest mainline stable kernel from the ELRepo repository:

sudo yum --enablerepo=elrepo-kernel install -y kernel-ml

Step 4: Update the GRUB Configuration

Update the GRUB bootloader configuration to use the new kernel:

sudo grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg
sudo grub2-set-default 0

Step 5: Reboot Your System

Reboot your CentOS system to load the new kernel:

sudo reboot

Step 6: Verify the Kernel Version

After the system has rebooted, verify that the new kernel version is in use:

uname -r

Commands Mentioned:

  • yum update – Update all packages on the system
  • rpm – Package manager used for installing, uninstalling, and managing RPM packages
  • yum install – Install a package using the YUM package manager
  • grub2-mkconfig – Generate a new GRUB configuration file
  • grub2-set-default – Set the default boot entry for GRUB
  • reboot – Reboot the system
  • uname – Display system information, including the kernel version
See also  How to Install Sendmail Service on CentOS 6.5


By following this guide, you have successfully upgraded the Linux kernel on your CentOS system. This upgrade improves system stability, performance, and security by addressing vulnerabilities, compatibility issues, and performance limitations associated with the older kernel version. Keeping your kernel updated is crucial for maintaining a reliable and secure system.

We invite you to comment and suggest improvements to this guide. Your feedback will help us enhance the quality and relevance of our content to better serve your needs.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *