How to install kernel on debian !

Debian wheezy using 3.2.0-4-amd64 as default kernel which is old. For that reason today i installed the latest  kernel downloaded from If you are Curious that how you can install the new kernel easily then follow  instructions:

Note: Make sure you have enough space before keep going(More than 8gb)

First we download the kernel:

wget -c

Then download the sign file:

wget -c

Note: i used -c with for wget since i was resumed the download.

Now time of unxz tool:

unxz linux-3.7.8.tar.xz

To be safe i verified the signature by issuing following command:

gpg --verify linux-3.7.8.tar.sign linux-3.7.8.tar

So everything OK.

This time we need to extract the the tar file:

tar xvf  linux-3.7.8.tar ; cd linux-3.7.8

I want fresh installation , So i ran :

make menuconfig

And got error :

So i had to install libncurses5-dev: apt-get install libncurses5-dev Or install all required tools:

sudo apt-get install fakeroot build-essential kernel-package ncurses-bin ncurses-dev

 again run :

make menuconfig

And see if you need anything to change , When finished just use tab to select "Exit" or "Cancel"

At last :

When it will exit the windows , you will see output in your terminal :

root@scientific:/home/scientist/kernel/linux-3.7.8# make menuconfig
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/conf.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/checklist.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/inputbox.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/menubox.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/textbox.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/util.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/lxdialog/yesno.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/mconf.o
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/
  HOSTLD  scripts/kconfig/mconf
scripts/kconfig/mconf Kconfig
# using defaults found in /boot/config-3.2.0-4-amd64
/boot/config-3.2.0-4-amd64:1564:warning: symbol value 'm' invalid for BMP085
/boot/config-3.2.0-4-amd64:2974:warning: symbol value 'm' invalid for POWER_SUPPLY
/boot/config-3.2.0-4-amd64:3209:warning: symbol value 'm' invalid for MFD_WM8400
/boot/config-3.2.0-4-amd64:4684:warning: symbol value 'm' invalid for COMEDI_MISC_DRIVERS
/boot/config-3.2.0-4-amd64:4691:warning: symbol value 'm' invalid for COMEDI_PCI_DRIVERS
/boot/config-3.2.0-4-amd64:4748:warning: symbol value 'm' invalid for COMEDI_PCMCIA_DRIVERS
/boot/config-3.2.0-4-amd64:4756:warning: symbol value 'm' invalid for COMEDI_USB_DRIVERS
# configuration written to .config

*** End of the configuration.
*** Execute 'make' to start the build or try 'make help'.

Avoid everything , Just important indication is "configuration written to .config" 

  clean all unusual files(Generated automatically) following command:

make-kpkg clean
I simply want to build a Debian package(.deb extension) so that i can use default tool dpkg to install the new kernel:
 fakeroot make-kpkg -j6 --initrd --revision=3.7.8 --append-to-version=-amd64 kernel_image kernel_headers
Also calculating the compile time you can run:
 time fakeroot make-kpkg -j6 --initrd --revision=3.7.8 --append-to-version=-amd64 kernel_image kernel_headers
Note: j5 for parallel if we have multi processor  
When you ran this command, you will see in your terminal lots of output such as :
 [M]  fs/ext2/file.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext2/ialloc.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext2/inode.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext2/ioctl.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext2/namei.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext2/super.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext2/symlink.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext2/xattr.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext2/xattr_user.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext2/xattr_trusted.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext2/acl.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext2/xattr_security.o
  LD [M]  fs/ext2/ext2.o
  LD      fs/ext3/built-in.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext3/balloc.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext3/bitmap.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext3/dir.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext3/file.o
  CC [M]  fs/ext3/fsync.o

Simply it is compiling all the sources, programming functions, system call , devices driver etc.

Install the .deb package and reboot the system and select the new kernel to boot.

entific:/home/scientist# uname -r ; arch

Caution: Be careful When compiling kernel . The system may not even boot. So First try it on your vm . I have no responsible if it damages anything .

There is more easy way to install kernel from debian backport. But installing this kernel perfectly worked for me!

****If you have any questions, feedback then please comment here!


  1. I'm a beginner linux user but still decided to follow your directions. When i had to run the make menuconfig i got an error about make command and i had to install it with apt-get install make. Also i have debian wheezy on a 8 GB SSD (it uses 4.9 gigs) and i ran out of disk space while compiling the kernel, so you forgot to mention it requires a lot of space. Maybe the pros know this well, but there are also noobs like me. =) Otherwise it would probably work, i just can't do the final step on my small drive. Maybe i'll try to clone it to a bigger HDD and install the new kernel there.

    PS: Sorry for my english and ty for this guide!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I have edited the post!

      Also if peoples try compiling kernel on their old computer then it may take long time. I compiled the and took only few minutes on my core i7 Laptop.

  2. Well, i succesfully cloned my Debian partition to a HDD with GParted and now done with compiling, everything went fine. I have only one question now: how can i remove the old kernel and clear it from the system, because it takes 11.5 gigabytes now, while previously it took only 4-5 gigs.

    1. Nice to hear that it went fine. First you should login to your new kernel then remove the old one(Otherwise it will ask you to remove lots of things) .

      You can remove the old kernel with following command:

      command$ dpkg --list | grep linux-image
      ii linux-image-3.2.0-4-amd64 3.2.41-2 amd64 Linux 3.2 for 64-bit PCs

      command$ apt-get remove linux-image-3.2.0-4-amd64

      Again: You should try everything in your non-important computer first. So vm is way to go first.

      Let me know how it goes!

  3. After Install the .deb package, how can i reboot with the new version? And i don't understand "entific:/home/scientist# uname -r ; arch
    Thanks !!!