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From what I understand, I can easily upgrade my kernel by applying patches to it, opposed to recompiling the kernel every time. I'm trying to go from kernel 3.2.51 to 3.2.54 by applying all the patches in between.

I'm trying to patch my 3.2.51 kernel (I downloaded it from www.kernel.org and compiled it myself) to 3.2.52. When I run this command (in the source directory /usr/src/linux-3.2.51):

$ gzip -dc /root/patch-3.2.52.gz | patch -p1

I get this error:

patching file Documentation/HOWTO
Reversed (or previously applied) patch detected!  Assume -R? [n] 

Apply anyway? [n]

And it rejects all the changes. Can someone explain what I'm doing wrong?

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The patch for 3.2.x is presumably between 3.2.0 and 3.2.x, not between 3.2.(x - 1) and 3.2.x.

If you do this often, perhaps it is easier just to follow the relevant git repository.

In any case, you will need to recompile (much) of the kernel anyway.

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