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Re: How do I update kernel in Debian 4

On Mon, 28 Jul 2008, Bret Busby wrote:

On Sun, 27 Jul 2008, Bob Cox wrote:

On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 18:28:00 +0800, Bret Busby (bret@busby.net) wrote:

On Sun, 27 Jul 2008, Jonathan Kaye wrote:

Bret Busby wrote:


We have Debian 4.0 running on one of our computers; a server of sorts.

Accessing that computer, for system updates, etc, is done through

Running uname -a, which I understand returns the kernel version, returns
2.4.18-bf2.4 #1 Son Apr 14 09:53:28 CEST 2002 i586 GNU/Linux

In searching on the Internet, I cannot find an easy way, using apt-get,
of updating (or upgrading) the kernel, and it is clearly not
automatically done when running apt-get update followed by

The GUI system update/upgrade facility on my workstation (also Debian
4.0), automatically includes kernel updates; the last one done today
(from Synaptic File -> History, "linux-image-2.6.18-6-k7
(2.6.18.dfsg.1-18etch6) to 2.6.18.dfsg.1-22").

How do I get what automatically works with the GUI update/upgrade
facility, to work with a command line apt-get update then apt-get
dist-upgrade facility, to update/upgrade the kernel?

Thank you in anticipation.

Bret Busby

Hi Bret,
1. At the console type "aptitude search linux-image" You will see a list of
2. Pick the kernel of you choice, say, linux-image-2.6.25-2-686, and AS ROOT
or using sudo type "aptitude install linux-image-2.6.25-2-686" (if that's
the kernel you want).
Then reboot and you should see the newly installed kernel appear on your
boot menu.

aptitude search linux-image


p   linux-image-2.6.18-6-486 - Linux 2.6.18 image on x86


cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 5
model           : 4
model name      : Pentium MMX
stepping        : 3
cpu MHz         : 233.866
fdiv_bug        : no
hlt_bug         : no
f00f_bug        : yes
coma_bug        : no
fpu             : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level     : 1
wp              : yes
flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr mce cx8 mmx
bogomips        : 466.94

But, which image?

The CPU appears to be a Pentium MMX.

The above list of images, have images for 486 CPU's, and for 686 CPU's,
and for "PPro/Celeron/PII/PIII/P4" CPU's, but not for either a straight
Pentium CPU, or for a Pentium MMX CPU.

I am pretty sure 486 is the one to go for.  (I use it on a P266 MMX

Your list above shows no packages marked 'A' for auto which explains why
it was not upgrading.

Regarding etch, this article might be of interest/use:


It got too complicated, as the process came up with a message about having to modify lilo.conf to accommodate initrd and to modify the file further, to stop the warning message about initrd in future kernel

So, I took the abort option, which still installed some of the 8 new packages to be installed as part of the kernel upgrade process.

I am hoping that the server still works, as it is our mailserver.

I am sure that I will soon find whether the server still works.

Thanks anyway.

It is just to complicated for me at present.

I guess we will just stick with the 2.4 kernel, until upgrading it gets easier, or we replace the computer.

Bret Busby
West Australia

The ouput (apart from the dialogue box that convinced me to abort the upgrade) is here:

 aptitude install linux-image-2.6.18-6-486
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Initializing package states... Done
Reading task descriptions... Done
Building tag database... Done
The following NEW packages will be automatically installed:
busybox initramfs-tools klibc-utils libklibc libvolume-id0 module-init-tools udev
The following NEW packages will be installed:
busybox initramfs-tools klibc-utils libklibc libvolume-id0 linux-image-2.6.18-6-486 module-init-tools udev
0 packages upgraded, 8 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 17.2MB of archives. After unpacking 51.3MB will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n/?] y
Writing extended state information... Done
Get:1 http://ftp.uwa.edu.au etch/main module-init-tools 3.3-pre4-2 [82.8kB]
Get:2 http://ftp.uwa.edu.au etch/main libklibc 1.4.34-2 [43.0kB]
Get:3 http://ftp.uwa.edu.au etch/main klibc-utils 1.4.34-2 [158kB]
Get:4 http://ftp.uwa.edu.au etch/main busybox 1:1.1.3-4 [286kB]
Get:5 http://ftp.uwa.edu.au etch/main libvolume-id0 0.105-4 [62.5kB]
Get:6 http://ftp.uwa.edu.au etch/main udev 0.105-4 [263kB]
Get:7 http://ftp.wa.au.debian.org etch/main initramfs-tools 0.85i [62.7kB] Get:8 http://ftp.wa.au.debian.org etch/main linux-image-2.6.18-6-486 2.6.18.dfsg.1-22 [16.2MB]
Fetched 17.2MB in 54s (313kB/s)
Use of uninitialized value in substitution (s///) at /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/Format/822.pm line 65, <$__ANONIO__> line 6933. Use of uninitialized value in substitution (s///) at /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/Format/822.pm line 65, <$__ANONIO__> line 6935. Use of uninitialized value in substitution (s///) at /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/Format/822.pm line 65, <$__ANONIO__> line 6937.
Preconfiguring packages ...
Use of uninitialized value in substitution (s///) at /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/Format/822.pm line 83. Use of uninitialized value in concatenation (.) or string at /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/Format/822.pm line 84. Use of uninitialized value in substitution (s///) at /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/Format/822.pm line 83. Use of uninitialized value in concatenation (.) or string at /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/Format/822.pm line 84. Use of uninitialized value in substitution (s///) at /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/Format/822.pm line 83. Use of uninitialized value in concatenation (.) or string at /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/Format/822.pm line 84.
Selecting previously deselected package module-init-tools.
(Reading database ... 9674 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking module-init-tools (from .../module-init-tools_3.3-pre4-2_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package libklibc.
Unpacking libklibc (from .../libklibc_1.4.34-2_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package klibc-utils.
Unpacking klibc-utils (from .../klibc-utils_1.4.34-2_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package busybox.
Unpacking busybox (from .../busybox_1%3a1.1.3-4_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package libvolume-id0.
Unpacking libvolume-id0 (from .../libvolume-id0_0.105-4_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package udev.
Unpacking udev (from .../archives/udev_0.105-4_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package initramfs-tools.
Unpacking initramfs-tools (from .../initramfs-tools_0.85i_all.deb) ...
Selecting previously deselected package linux-image-2.6.18-6-486.
Unpacking linux-image-2.6.18-6-486 (from .../linux-image-2.6.18-6-486_2.6.18.dfsg.1-22_i386.deb) ...
Ok, Aborting
dpkg: error processing /var/cache/apt/archives/linux-image-2.6.18-6-486_2.6.18.dfsg.1-22_i386.deb (--unpack):
 subprocess pre-installation script returned error exit status 1
Errors were encountered while processing:

E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
A package failed to install.  Trying to recover:
Setting up module-init-tools (3.3-pre4-2) ...

Setting up libklibc (1.4.34-2) ...
Setting up klibc-utils (1.4.34-2) ...
Setting up libvolume-id0 (0.105-4) ...

Setting up udev (0.105-4) ...
/sys/class/net/ is not available, persistent interface names not saved.
udev requires a kernel >= 2.6.15, not started.

Setting up busybox (1.1.3-4) ...
Setting up initramfs-tools (0.85i) ...


Bret Busby
West Australia

"So once you do know what the question actually is,
 you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
  Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
  "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
  A Trilogy In Four Parts",
  written by Douglas Adams,
  published by Pan Books, 1992


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