List or Check Installed Linux Kernels

in Categories , , , , , last updated October 11, 2007

Q. How do I list all installed kernel on Linux operating system? How do I find out current kernel version?

A. You can use standard package listing command to list installed kernels.

RedHat / CentOS / RHEL / Fedora Linux user

You need to use standard rpm command to list installed software. Type the following command at shell prompt:
$ rpm -qa kernel
Output:

kernel-2.6.18-4.1.15.el5
kernel-2.6.18-8.1.14.el5
kernel-2.6.18-8.1.10.el5

To list / display current kernel

Type the following command:
$ uname -r
$ uname -mrs

Output:

Linux 2.6.18-8.1.14.el5 x86_64

Debian / Ubuntu Linux user

Use dpkg command to list all installed kernel, enter:
$ dpkg --list | grep linux-image
Output:

ii  linux-image-2.6.20-15-generic        2.6.20-15.27                           Linux kernel image for version 2.6.20 on x86/
ii  linux-image-2.6.20-16-generic        2.6.20-16.32                           Linux kernel image for version 2.6.20 on x86/
ii  linux-image-generic                  2.6.20.16.28.1                         Generic Linux kernel image

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

Share this on (or read 10 comments/add one below):

10 comment

  1. Hi,

    how to edit the boot order manually in Debian to choose a specific installed kernel to be the default one?

    Thanks.

    1. You need to modify the bootloader configuration. If you haven’t been playing with your installation you’re using GRUB, so search for GRUB configuration tutorials.

  2. hi, i am new to linux. i want to know what happens to the older kernel when i install a new kernel? does it overwrite? also explain me how do i find the path/location for both older and newer kernels! please help!

    1. @rohit, newer installed kernels do not overwrite existing kernels unless you delete them explicitly. So you can always choose to boot with the proved old one :-)
      As for the kernels location, it depends on where do you install them… In my case I always create a /boot partition, so there you could find all those kernels…
      Best of luck!

    Have a question? Post it on our forum!