I have an installed Ubuntu Distro (Karmic 9.10) already.

However, due to some problems with xorg ati driver, I cannot standby my computer. Some guy have suggested me to try the latest version of xorg driver which in turn requires a newer version of Linux kernel than the newest release available from Ubuntu Central Repository (2.6.33).

I have searched though several articles on how to install a custom Linux kernel. However, these articles are so 2004/2005 and they were talking about lilo (???). Since then, I'm afraid that I cannot make the Grub Boot recognize the new Linux kernel properly (I'm just a newbie to Linux). I would love to know how to install the kernel into Ubuntu and have grub acknowledge the new installed kernel.


Ubuntu 9.10 ships GRUB 2, which encourages automatic configuration. This can be done via

sudo update-grub

This can automatically detect your kernels, even dual boot with Windows.

If you are upgraded from Ubuntu 9.04 or earlier version, it's probably that you are with GRUB 1.x. Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst with root privilege manually. The structure of that file is easy to read. Just copy/paste and modify a little, nothing complicated.


On Ubuntu 9.10, it happens automatically. To be clear: when you install the new kernel Grub 2's configuration files are automatically edited to add the new kernel as an option on Grub 2's boot menu.

This also works if you install Lucid's kernels on 9.10.

  • I have a amd64-ubuntu. Then, I go to kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v2.6.33 and download 4 deb files: header-generic-amd64, header-all, image-generic-amd64, source-all. Then I installed these deb files with dpkg. However, the wireless and radeon drivers cannot be compiled against the kernel (unlike the kernel available from Karmic Repository). What should I do? – Phuong Nguyen Mar 17 '10 at 7:20
  • I don't know if that's possible or easy to do. You can try asking another question here or at ubuntuforums.org. Also you may consider using Lucid (Beta 1 should be released tomorrow). – alfplayer Mar 17 '10 at 17:38
  • Are the drivers wanting a different version of kernel? You can always pull a vanilla kernel from kernel.org, compile it (use .config file of current kernel in /boot), wrap it in a deb, and install it (installer updates grub automatically if you use Debian tools). This is getting into advanced territory but if you're desiring to become a Linux expert you might as well start here. – LawrenceC Aug 28 '11 at 13:54

One starting place would be to open a terminal window and enter info grub This will bring up the grub documentation. That should give you a better understanding of how grub works as well as how to configure it properly to load your new kernel.

  • Man pages are nearly undecipherable for people who don't have lots of linux experience. Try a real answer. – Fake Name Jun 30 '10 at 5:41
  • 1
    @Fake Name: I have to disagree. Man-Pages are a great documentation source and should always be looked at. Additionally he said info which does show a plain README file, and not the man-page. – Bobby Oct 18 '10 at 9:39

Note that a fresh install of Ubuntu 9.10 will include grub2, whereas an upgrade to 9.10 from 9.04 will leave the earlier grub you already have. I am in the latter situation myself

$ grub-install -v
grub-install (GNU GRUB 0.97)

but I think for grub2, you would want to add a custom menu entry very similar to the first sample shown.

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