Debian/Ubuntu: How to compile a Linux kernel on one machine and use on other machines (same architecture)?

I know how to do it on the same machine. But to use a compiled kernel other machines, is tricky for me.

For example,

I have done make

But how about sudo make modules_install install ? This will install things to my current machine.

What is good practice to compile a kernel on a fast machine but use it on other slow/(or fast too) machines.

Otherwise I have to compile, install it every time, which is time consuming.


On Ubuntu webpage, there are ways to do similar thing. But it is only good for Ubuntu kernels. Not for upstream kernels.

1 Answer 1


Since they're Debian machines, use make deb-pkg (instead of make, make install, etc.), which is part of the upstream kernel sources. That will generate a few Debian packages; you can scp those around and install with dpkg -i.

  • You also have make-kpkg on Debian, which is supposed to be deprecated but is still nicer than make deb-pkg I guess.
    – Totor
    Feb 19, 2014 at 22:47

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