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I am somewhat ignorant when it comes to understanding the Linux kernel. I was installing a CentOS 5.4 guest OS on a VMWare 3.5 ESXI box. I mistakenly installed the ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined! mpmackenna's Avatar
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    [SOLVED] How do I switch kernels?


    I am somewhat ignorant when it comes to understanding the Linux kernel. I was installing a CentOS 5.4 guest OS on a VMWare 3.5 ESXI box. I mistakenly installed the 2.6.18-164.15.1.el5xen kernel instead of the standard kernel. It is my understanding that the xen kernel is for hosting VMs and not necessary if the install is a guest OS in a virtual environment. I am trying to install the VMWare tools in my guest OS. I installed the package kernel-devel but it seems to be the standard kernel not the xen kernel. Whenever I try to build the vmware tools package it sees that the running kernel is different from the sources on the machine. How can I switch to the standard kernel instead of the xen kernel since the xen kernel is unnecessary and seems to be complicating matters? This box already has some services configured on it and it is in production. I am trying to move forward without doing a reinstall and choosing a different kernel. Is that possible without causing more issues? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer psic's Avatar
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    I haven't dealt with VMWare much, but normally when you choose what kernel to run, you do this in the Grub boot-up menu (or LILO, though I think Grub is the default for most distros these days). So let's say I have two kernels, I have to add their information in Grub's setup file - it's normally /boot/grub/menu.lst. Take a look at how the existing kernel is written in this file (there will be a link pointing to the kernel and one that points to the root file system where the kernels resides). Now copy/paste the information for the first kernel but replace the kernel information with your second kernel. During boot-up just select this from the Grub screen.

    If this is a bit too hastily explained, feel free to say so and I'll explain it further (and post the relevant lines in the menu.lst file)
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  3. #3
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Boot into the xen kernel. Install the non-xen kernel, reboot using the non-xen kernel, remove old kernel. Do all the install/remove operations with yum. IE,

    1. yum install non-xen-kernel
    2. reboot to non-xen-kernel
    3. yum remove xen-kernel
    4. install VMware tools
    5. check the configuration of /boot/grub/grub.conf to be sure it is set to no longer see the xen kernel - which should be the case since the removal of the xen kernel by yum should have updated grub.conf.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  4. #4
    Just Joined! mpmackenna's Avatar
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    Wow

    That went really well. Thanks! Mike

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