How To Check Installed Linux Kernels

Check Installed Linux Kernels

Ever wondered how many Linux Kernels you have installed in your Linux box? No? Well, this brief tutorial will teach you how to view or check installed Linux Kernels on different Linux operating systems. It’s not that difficult as you may think. Read on.

Check installed Linux Kernels

On Arch Linux:

In Arch Linux, and its derivatives, you can find the list of installed Kernels using the following command:

$ pacman -Q linux

Or,

$ pacman -Q | grep linux

Sample output:

archlinux-keyring 20171013-1
lib32-util-linux 2.30.1-1
libutil-linux 2.30.2-1
linux 4.13.8-1
linux-api-headers 4.12.7-1
linux-firmware 20170907.a61ac5c-1
syslinux 6.03-7
util-linux 2.30.2-1

Check Installed Linux Kernels

As you see in the above output, my Arch Linux box is running with Kernel 4.13.8-1.

On RHEL / CentOS / Scientific Linux / Fedora:

Open up your Terminal, and run the following command to view the installed Linux Kernels:

# rpm -qa kernel

Or,

# rpm -qa | grep -i kernel

Sample output:

kernel-tools-libs-3.10.0-123.9.3.el7.x86_64
kernel-3.10.0-123.9.3.el7.x86_64
kernel-3.10.0-123.el7.x86_64
kernel-tools-3.10.0-123.9.3.el7.x86_64
kernel-ml-4.4.5-1.el7.elrepo.x86_64

On Debian / Ubuntu / Linux Mint:

To view the list of installed Linux Kernels in DEB based systems such as Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Elementary OS, run the following command from the Terminal:

$ dpkg --list | grep linux-image

Sample output:

rc linux-image-4.2.0-16-generic 4.2.0-16.19 amd64 Linux kernel image for version 4.2.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii linux-image-4.2.0-30-generic 4.2.0-30.35 amd64 Linux kernel image for version 4.2.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii linux-image-4.4.0-7-generic 4.4.0-7.22 amd64 Linux kernel image for version 4.4.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii linux-image-4.5.0-040500-generic 4.5.0-040500.201603140130 amd64 Linux kernel image for version 4.5.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
rc linux-image-extra-4.2.0-16-generic 4.2.0-16.19 amd64 Linux kernel extra modules for version 4.2.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii linux-image-extra-4.2.0-30-generic 4.2.0-30.35 amd64 Linux kernel extra modules for version 4.2.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii linux-image-extra-4.4.0-7-generic 4.4.0-7.22 amd64 Linux kernel extra modules for version 4.4.0 on 64 bit x86 SMP
ii linux-image-generic 4.4.0.7.8 amd64 Generic Linux kernel image

On SUSE / openSUSE:

On SUSE and openSUSE, you can get the list of installed Linux kernels using command:

# rpm -qa | grep -i kernel

Sample output:

kernel-firmware-20160112git-120.1.noarch
kernel-default-4.1.15-8.1.x86_64
kernel-default-devel-4.5.0-1.1.g3c4edc5.x86_64
kernel-devel-4.5.0-1.1.g3c4edc5.noarch
kernel-default-4.5.0-1.1.g3c4edc5.x86_64
kernel-macros-4.5.0-1.1.g3c4edc5.noarch

That’s it. You know now how to find out all installed kernels in your Linux system.

To view the currently running Kernel, run:

$ uname -r
4.13.8-1-ARCH

Or,

$ uname -mrs
Linux 4.13.8-1-ARCH x86_64

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4 Responses

  1. jymm says:

    I just use Hardinfo. A great system utility.

  2. Eddie O'Connor says:

    There’s also an alternative method. You can search for and install “Screenfetch” on your Linux machine. Then anytime you need immediate info on the current kernel…(and ONLY the current kernel!) You’d type in “screenfetch” in your Terminal and it will come back with the distro installed…..the crurrent kernel….what Windows Manager is in use….the number of packages installed, the available amount of RAM….and an “ASCII” version of the distro’s logo!
    There’s another version similar to this called “Neofetch”….either one does the job!!

  3. Julian Cardich says:

    On Linux Mint Cinnamon you just click the Update Manager and on the emerging window you click View and then Linux Kernels. From here you can view installed kernels, uninstall old kernels, browse kernel specific information etc.

  4. Wiesław Koźbiał says:

    Can somebody tell me please, what is the point of having many kernels? You boot from one of them, let’s say the latest (the most recent) and all is updated, working fine. My understanding is that the installed software on your linux may not work with the earlier kernels you hold. So even if you boot from the oldest kernel, what is the point?

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