Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm try to upgrade a debian system to 2.6 64 bit kernel with the command

aptitude install linux-image-2.6.32-5-amd64

which works fine.

The system reboots, /vmlinuz -> boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-amd64

all good

however uname -a returns

Linux hostname 2.6.32-5-686 #1 SMP Sun May 6 04:01:19 UTC 2012 i686 GNU/Linux

Am I missing something or is this correct?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

One does not simply install a 64-bit kernel to change a 32-bit installation to a 64-bit installation. You usually have to completely reinstall the system.

That said, the Debian Wiki has a workaround which can be used to migrate 32 to 64-bit on a live system, but it looks hairy enough that I'd probably just reinstall.

share|improve this answer
I was looking at this, which seemed to suggest that the upgrade of the kernel would lead to uname giving a different result. –  mark Sep 25 '12 at 19:46
up vote 1 down vote accepted

In case anyone else suffers this problem, I just needed to force grub to reconfigure (I had assumed that happened as part of the new kernel install). So

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Then the new 64 bit kernel appeared and I could boot from it. After that, a query of uname -a did indeed return x86_64

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.