Debian Linux 6 Squeeze: Install Linux Kernel 3.2.xx

How do I install Linux kernel version 3.2.xx without compiling the Linux kernel from source code under Debian Linux Squeeze version 6.x running on HP hardware?

Debian Linux 6 comes with the Linux kernel version 2.6.32.xx only. However, you can install the Linux kernel version 3.2.xx or newer using backports. From the page:

Backports are recompiled packages from testing (mostly) and unstable (in a few cases only, e.g. security updates) in a stable environment so that they will run without new libraries (whenever it is possible) on a Debian stable distribution. Backports cannot be tested as extensively as Debian stable, and backports are provided on an as-is basis, with risk of incompatibilities with other components in Debian stable. Use with care! It is therefore recommended to select single backported packages that fit your needs, and not use all available backports.

Step #1: Add backports

Edit /etc/apt/sources.list, run:
# vi /etc/apt/sources.list
Append the following line:

deb squeeze-backports main

Save and close the file. Run the following command:
# apt-get update

Step #2: Install the Linux kernel 3.x.xx backport

Type the following command to search kernel image:
# apt-cache search linux-image-3
Sample outputs:

linux-headers-3.2.0-0.bpo.2-amd64 - Header files for Linux 3.2.0-0.bpo.2-amd64
linux-headers-3.2.0-0.bpo.2-rt-amd64 - Header files for Linux 3.2.0-0.bpo.2-rt-amd64
linux-image-3.2.0-0.bpo.2-amd64-dbg - Debugging infos for Linux 3.2.0-0.bpo.2-amd64
linux-image-3.2.0-0.bpo.2-amd64 - Linux 3.2 for 64-bit PCs
linux-image-3.2.0-0.bpo.2-rt-amd64-dbg - Debugging infos for Linux 3.2.0-0.bpo.2-rt-amd64
linux-image-3.2.0-0.bpo.2-rt-amd64 - Linux 3.2 for 64-bit PCs, PREEMPT_RT

Type the following command to install the Linux 3.2. for 64-bit systems:
# apt-get -t squeeze-backports install linux-image-3.2.0-0.bpo.2-amd64 firmware-linux-free
Sample outputs:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
  initramfs-tools linux-base
Suggested packages:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  firmware-linux-free linux-image-3.2.0-0.bpo.2-amd64
The following packages will be upgraded:
  initramfs-tools linux-base
2 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 14 not upgraded.
Need to get 23.7 MB of archives.
After this operation, 117 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y

You may be prompted to accept or deny few changes. Reboot the system:
# reboot
Finally, verify that you are using Linux 3.2:
# uname -mrs
# cat /proc/version
Sample outputs:

Linux version 3.2.0-0.bpo.2-amd64 (Debian 3.2.20-1~bpo60+1) ( (gcc version 4.4.5 (Debian 4.4.5-8) ) #1 SMP Fri Jun 29 20:42:29 UTC 2012

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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