Latest Kernel version

Posted on 2013-12-08
Last Modified: 2013-12-10
How to find latest kernel version for a specific flavor of Linux.

For example I have two linux client

1) Fedora
# uname -a
Linux fedora18b 3.6.10-4.fc18.x86_64 #1 SMP Tue Dec 11 18:01:27 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux  

# cat /etc/redhat-release
Fedora release 18 (Spherical Cow)

2) CenTOS
# uname -a
Linux lg-g235d-lnx 2.6.32-279.22.1.el6.x86_64 #1 SMP Wed Feb 6 03:10:46 UTC 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

# cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS release 6.3 (Final)

Is there a way to find if these are the latest kernel version?
Question by:perlperl
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Author Comment

ID: 39704528
I found these links:

It seems latest CentOS is 6.5 and what I have is 6.3

Latest Fedora is 19 and what I have is 18.

Author Comment

ID: 39704536
What I see on the wki page of CentOS is that latest version is "6.5" but its kernel version is 2.6.32-431

Isn't that very old compared to Fedora's 3.6.10-4.fc18.x86_64 ??
Why is CentOS using such an old Linux Kernel version 2.6

even Ubuntu 12.10 has Linux Kernel version 3.5

I am just trying to understand if the kernel version should be more or less same for different linux (like fedora, centos free BSD etc...)
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 39704588
Are you trying to update to the latest stable or experiment the newest kernel?

To update you can invoke yum update kernel. This will download and update from the repository. For example, Centos 6, is 2.6.32-431.el6 as of now. This is constantly being tested and pushed to the repository.

To compile the newest kernel by hand you need to go to

Author Comment

ID: 39704635
Yes but why is centos using such an old linux kernel version 2.6
LVL 87

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 334 total points
ID: 39704820
CentOS, like the OS it is a clone of, RedHat, are stable OS's that are meant for use in enterprises and so they don't use the newest, shiniest, state of the art software. So both are still using a 2.6 kernel. Fedora on the other hand is used as a testing bed for the newest software, and things that are found to be good will get adopted in the next release of RedHat/CentOS (version 7).

Also, if you are still at CentOS 6.3, you probably haven't run yum update for a long time, as differences between CentOS 6.3, 6.4 and 6.5 are minimal (it's more like a servicepack from one number to the next), and so yum update will also get you up to CentOS 6.5. It'll still be using a 2.6 kernel though.
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LVL 61

Expert Comment

ID: 39704899
On either system:
yum check-update

yum upgrade kernel\*

Author Comment

ID: 39705071
cool, Thanks everyone for comments.

So can one run any kernel version on any OS.
For example as per
Latest Kernel version 2.6.32-431  on   centOS 6.3.  Can one compile and run latest Kernel 3.12.4 on CentOS?
LVL 87

Assisted Solution

rindi earned 334 total points
ID: 39705112
You could, but why? You should really always use what your OS comes with. Otherwise you risk breaking it or making it insecure, and the updates won't work. It also won't be CentOS 6.3 after that anymore. A reason for using CentOS is that 3rd party companies like Oracle etc. support it officially, and if you change things they won't, and chances are some things will stop working.

If you want a different kernel than what is provided by your distro, get another distro that provides you with that kernel. Or build your own distro. Maybe take a look at "Linux from Scratch which shows you how you can build your own distro:
LVL 61

Assisted Solution

gheist earned 166 total points
ID: 39705512
RedHat backports many features from newer kernels, just they keep the version number same and maintain binary compatibility for drivers of 5 years ago.

If you need to have recent kernel in enterprise setting - Ubuntu provides fresh krnels for LTS versions too.

Also remember that 2.2->2.6 tiik more than 10 years while 3.0->3.13 was like a year and a half due to changed numbering....
LVL 61

Expert Comment

ID: 39706767
Oracle UEK3 -> 3.8.13
RedHat MRG -> 3.8.13
(later rebuilt for scientific linux)

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