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Gentoo- Updating the kernel


The updated kernel will:

  • Receive updates on drivers
  • Protect against security vulnerabilities
  • Maintain a stable system update

It is always recommended to regularly update the kernel as a maintenance task.
Updating the kernel of Gentoo is done like any other package using the emerge utility.

  • To update the sources:
  • #emerge -u gentoo-sources

The packages will be installed under /usr/src.
Gentoo needs that the /usr/src/linux symbolic link points to the kernel source being used used. The portage automatically updates the symbolic link, but you must manually configure the symlink flag in the /etc/make.conf configuration file..

  • USE="symlink x86 3dnow 3dnowex X aac aalib adns alsa apache2"

Alternatively, it is possible to use the app-admin/eselect package to change the symbolic link.
To do this you must install the package then use it to change the link as follows
Alternatively, you could use app-admin/eselect to modify the symlink.

# emerge eselect 
(Afficher la liste de noyaux disponibles) 
# eselect kernel list 
Available kernel symlink targets: 
  [1]   linux-2.6.27-gentoo-r8 * 
  [2]   linux-2.6.27-gentoo-r10 
# eselect kernel set 2

To verify the application:

# cd /usr/src 
# ln -sfn linux-2.6.9-gentoo-r2 linux


First install the Genkernel tool:

  • #emerge genkernel

Launch the installation:

  • #genkernel all

Update grub:

  • # genkernel --menuconfig --bootloader=grub all


Begin by launching the kernel configuration utility

# cd /usr/src/linux 
# make menuconfig
  • Choose the required options for hardware and system environment.
  • There is a comprehensive guide to help you out with the kernel configuration.
  • This is a freely downloadable: Linux kernel in a nutshell

Then you have to compile the kernel and copy the boot partition. If /boot is a separate partition, then you must mount it:

# make && make modules_install 
# mount /boot 
# cp arch/i386/boot/bzImage /boot/bzImage-2.6.9-gentoo-r2
  • Finally, you need to update the boot loader, adding the reference to the new kernel.


You may require to re-install the external modules after updating the kernel.
Close all the processes and restart.
It possible to use to remove the old kernel versions:

  • # emerge -P gentoo-sources 

You also need to delete the files related to old kernels in the usr/src using the rm command.

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