How to install an OVH Kernel and to boot the server from your hard disk?


OVH propose Netboot service for free. It enables you to boot your server on a pre configured kernel directly from your network. See KernelNetboot

However, it would be better to arrange the same kernel on your hard disk. In case of Netboot problem at the time of a reboot of your server, It takes automatically the kernel available from the hard disk. It is therefore better that the kernel is always up dated on your hard disk.

Your server configuration

If you wish that your server start on the kernel installed on its hard disk, you have to configure this option from your manager. Go to ‘Dedicated servers’ section and choose the server you’d like to configure. Then ‘select netboot’ then, select HD (Hard Disk).

At the next start up, you server will use the kernel delivered by default on the hard disk to start. You will have therefore to follow the procedure shown below to up date it regularly.

If your server is configured to start on the netboot, you have also to make sure to maintain the kernel installed on your hard disk up dated because in case of problem with the netboot your server starts automatically on the kernel present on its hard disk.

Procedure to up date the kernel on your hard disk

1. Connect via SSH to your dedicated server as a root.
For further details about SSH connection, you can consult this guide: SshOnDedicated
2. Go on /boot : cd /boot

3. All our kernels are available on our FTP server:
You can there recover all the files corresponding to your configuration. Each kernel is available in 2 versions: with or without grsecurity security patch (-grsec extension). For each kernel corresponds a file.


For the update of the core is taken into account the next time you need to update the configuration of your bootloader. On older systems (gentoo, OVH Release 2, Slackware, ...) it is lilo, then edit /etc/lilo.conf adapting the line that starts with

. Then do not forget to apply the configuration by running "/sbin/lilo".
For current installations, the bootloader is grub-1 (CentOS, RHEL, Fedora, Debian 5) or grub-2 (Debian 6, Ubuntu from 2009).
For grub-1, customize the file /boot/grub/grub.conf ou /boot/grub/menu.lst (only Debian 5).
For grub-2, just run the command "update-grub"
5. Once you have updated the bootloader, you can reboot the server to the new kernel.

Should the server does not respond and does not ping, you can reboot the server to the rescue and fix configuration files again.