Changing the default ‘generic’ kernel to ‘server’ kernel in Ubuntu

If you install Ubuntu from the live cd or alternate install cd, the ‘generic’ kernel would be installed by default. The ‘generic’ kernel focuses on i586 and i686 CPU architectures. But if you have a newer CPU, like Pentium 4 HT, Dual Core or Core2Duo, you might want to install the ‘server’ kernel to improve your PC performance. The ‘server’ kernel focuses on i686 architectures and posses some unique advantages over ‘generic’ kernel in case of task management.

Note that you should not change the default kernel if you don’t have a CPU that belong in the families stated above. And also be aware of the fact that kernel changing might cause big problems in your computer [such as making the system unstable!].

Here is the complete walkthrough of changing your kernel:

1. Disable any proprietory video card driver that you are using. You must do this, otherwise your computer could not start X after enabling the new kernel.

2. Open Synaptic package manager and select the following packages for installation

  • linux-server
  • linux-headers-2.6.24-17-server
  • linux-headers-server
  • linux-image-2.6.24-17-server
  • linux-image-server
  • linux-restricted-modules-2.6.24-17-server
  • linux-restricted-modules-server
  • linux-ubuntu-modules-2.6.24-17-server

3. Now install these packages by clicking ‘Apply’

4. Restart your computer upon completation of download and installation

5. From System > Administration > Hardware Driver menu, enable the proprietory video card driver that you have disabled previously. You might have to restart your PC again.

6. Its all done. You can check your kernel version by typing ‘uname -r’ in the terminal.

You might want to uninstall the old generic kernel packages to free up your hard drive space. In that case, open Synaptic package manager and mark these packages for complete removal:

  • linux-generic
  • linux-headers-2.6.24-17-generic
  • linux-headers-generic
  • linux-image-2.6.24-17-generic
  • linux-image-generic
  • linux-restricted-modules-2.6.24-17-generic
  • linux-restricted-modules-generic
  • linux-ubuntu-modules-2.6.24-17-generic

After uninstalling these packages, restart your computer. Now you won’t see option for ‘generic’ kernel boot in the GRUB.

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2 thoughts on “Changing the default ‘generic’ kernel to ‘server’ kernel in Ubuntu

  1. Pingback: 2010: year in review « Hafiz Imtiaz's Blog

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