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As i have seen many changes and improvement in kernel 3.xx

The improvement i like is dmcache which introduced in kernel 3.9

I have 3 server with centos installed on all machine

Centos is still using old kernel which is 2.6.xx

I'm wondering why they are not upgrading kernel?


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That just isn't how most distros work. The stick with the version they had when it was relesaed, and just back port security issues. This is about stability. –  Zoredache Feb 4 '14 at 8:13
I would add, unless you're using a rolling distro, this is true of most distributions, especially with enterprise distributions like RHEL (which centos is a derivative of). People who run these distros are more concerned with stability and knowing everything will work, than having the latest features. –  Journeyman Geek Feb 4 '14 at 8:17
If you really want a newer kernel, why don't you just install one? –  FSMaxB Feb 4 '14 at 9:24

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

CentOS 6 is based on RHEL 6, which was released in 2010. Within a major release, the goal is compatibility and not introducing breaking changes as the target audience is enterprises that value stability over features. As you can see from the version history, they don't introduce new kernel versions within a major release (but some fixes are backported), so it's likely RHEL 6/CentOS 6 will stay on 2.6.32 (a stable kernel version).

To get a newer kernel, you'll have to wait for RHEL 7/CentOS 7 and upgrade. It will include kernel 3.10 (another stable kernel release).

Since Red Hat supports each release for 10 years (or 13 with extended support, e.g. RHEL 6 until 2023), it's no surprise they don't release a new major version every year.

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They do appear to have done a newer one last month:


Grab it, then:

rpm -ivh kernel-3.10.34-11.el6.centos.alt.src.rpm

rpmbuild -ba ~/rpmbuild/SPECS/kernel.spec

rpm -Uvh ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/kernel-*

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It has been the middle of 2015, The version 7 of CentOS has been released for a long time and a major upgrade of Linux kernel -- 4.0 -- was released about two months ago, so I think it's time we keep up with the pace of software development. If CentOS does not want to upgrade the kernel because of steadiness consideration for example, let's do it ourselves!

I'm using CentOS 7 with 3.10.0 kernel. Following the article here, I successfully upgraded my CentOS 7 to the latest 4.0.5 kernel. It works very well on my machine. To simply put, the steps to upgrade the kernel to 4.0.5 on CentOS 7 is:

(1)rpm --import https://www.elrepo.org/RPM-GPG-KEY-elrepo.org

(2)rpm -Uvh http://www.elrepo.org/elrepo-release-7.0-2.el7.elrepo.noarch.rpm

(3)yum --enablerepo=elrepo-kernel install kernel-ml


(5) In the boot menu, select 4.0.5 kernel (usually in the 1st line).

After boot, use uname -r to check the new kernel version.

PS: That article also contains ways to upgrade kernel to 4.0.5 on ubuntu.

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