Upgrading your centOS kernel

If you are having issues with your present linux kernel or just want to upgrade to kernel-smp-2.6.9-39.1 then here is the step by step guide. 

login to a shell on your server, and type

uname -a

the output should be something like

Linux your.host.name 2.6.9-37.ELsmp #1 SMP Fri May 19 18:07:42 EDT 2006 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

the "2.6.9-37.ELsmp" is the current kernel on your server.
That’s what i have now.

You probably have 22 or 34, instead of my 37.

If so, while logged into your server,

wget http://people.redhat.com/~jbaron/rhel4/RPMS.kernel/kernel-smp-2.6.9-39.1.EL.i686.rpm

and after  the download has completed, install the kernel

rpm -ivh kernel-smp-2.6.9-39.1.EL.i686.rpm

Check to see if the new kernel is installed by default in grub.conf

cat /boot/grub/grub.conf

Default should be 0
And the kernel you’ve just installed should be the first one

title CentOS (2.6.9-39.ELsmp)
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.9-39.ELsmp ro root=/dev/sda6
initrd /initrd-2.6.9-39.ELsmp.img

After that, wait until your server is not that busy(night time) and reboot the server.

After it comes back online, check what kernel your system is using again (uname -a)

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