36.4. Performing the Upgrade

After retrieving all of the necessary packages, it is time to upgrade the existing kernel. At a shell prompt, as root, change to the directory that contains the kernel RPM packages and follow these steps.

Important

It is strongly recommended that the old kernel is kept in case there are problems with the new kernel.
Use the -i argument with the rpm command to keep the old kernel. Do not use the -U option, since it overwrites the currently installed kernel, which creates boot loader problems. Issue the following command (the kernel version may vary):
 rpm -ivh kernel-2.6.9-5.EL.<arch>.rpm 
If the system is a multi-processor system, install the kernel-smp packages as well (the kernel version may vary):
 rpm -ivh kernel-smp-2.6.9-5.EL.<arch>.rpm 
If the system is i686-based and contains more than 4 GB of RAM, install the kernel-hugemem package built for the i686 architecture as well (the kernel version might vary):
 rpm -ivh kernel-hugemem-2.6.9-5.EL.i686.rpm 
The next step is to verify that the initial RAM disk image has been created. Refer to Section 36.5, “Verifying the Initial RAM Disk Image” for details.