The linux kernel as of today is on version 2.6.35 but using aptitude on debian (lenny) the most currently available update is 2.6.26. Ubuntu on the other hand already has the 2.6.35 package available.

Now, am wondering whether it is possible to just get the deb files for the kernel (i.e. image, headers and all) from the ubuntu repositories and just use those to update my debian distro?

I know I could just compile from source but am saving that for later :) incase this is not possible.


As I stated before I know I can compile my own or use make-kpkg.

I guess the question(s) am asking are: Is it possible? Has anyone tried it? How did that work out?

  • Why do you think you need to upgrade to a newer kernel? What features or functionality do you think you need? – Zoredache Sep 14 '10 at 18:46

You would be better off waiting for the official package, creating your own, or compiling from source.


The Debian Linux kernel is pretty stock. Nothing that I'm aware of has been changed in it that would make it not work on another system. The only thing I can think of that you'd need to worry about is regenerating the initrd (I'm not sure if dpkg does this for you).

With that said, it's really easy to compile your own kernel package on Debian-like systems. make-kpkg is an amazing tool.


I would not automatically assume that a Ubuntu kernel will work on an otherwise Debian distro install. If you really want a newer kernel, you could use a number of different ways (other than building your own):

  1. Upgrade to testing (squeeze). That has a 2.6.32 kernel. However I have to warn you: the upgrade is not straight forward, especially in multiboot systems (been there and caused me a bit of a headache for a few hours, especially the upgrade of udev). I have a direct connection to Neil McGovern (debian release manager) and he says they haven't even looked closely at the upgrade part of the next release.
  2. There is a guys somewhere in Japan who has package the latest kernel for debian. This is required if you want to install debian on one of the R210/310/410 Dell PowerEdge servers (they use chips on the mobo which have no drivers in older kernels). We have used that with good success. This is the site.

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