I cannot figure out how to install kernel-headers/devel-4.x on CentOS7. I want to compile a program using headers from a later kernel version without having to upgrade CentOS.

I'm running CentOS 7.9 (kernel: 3.10.0-1160.24.1.el7.x86_64), but this question applies to any level of CentOS7.

I have tried:

yum install kernel-devel-4.18.0-240.15.1.el8_3.x86_64


yum install https://vault.centos.org/8.3.2011/BaseOS/Source/SPackages/kernel-4.18.0-240.15.1.el8_3.src.rpm

Here's my repolist:

# yum repolist
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, ovl
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
epel/x86_64/metalink                                                                                                                                                                   | 4.6 kB  00:00:00
 * base: la.mirrors.clouvider.net
 * epel: mirror.twinlakes.net
 * extras: mirror.keystealth.org
 * updates: centos.mirror.ndchost.com
epel                                                                                                                                                                                   | 4.7 kB  00:00:00
(1/3): epel/x86_64/group_gz                                                                                                                                                            |  96 kB  00:00:00
(2/3): epel/x86_64/updateinfo                                                                                                                                                          | 1.0 MB  00:00:00
(3/3): epel/x86_64/primary_db                                                                                                                                                          | 6.9 MB  00:00:00
repo id                                                                              repo name                                                                                                          status
base/7/x86_64                                                                        CentOS-7 - Base                                                                                                    10072
epel/x86_64                                                                          Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 7 - x86_64                                                                     13576
extras/7/x86_64                                                                      CentOS-7 - Extras                                                                                                    468
updates/7/x86_64                                                                     CentOS-7 - Updates                                                                                                  1924
repolist: 26040

Do I need to add a repo here? I have not been able to figure this out.

1 Answer 1


The kernel version you are looking at is the CentOS 8 kernel, which is not available on CentOS 7.

If you want a newer kernel on Centos7, you can get a 5.4 kernel currently with the ELRepo kernel-lt package (the current “long term” kernel as of April, 2021) or a 5.11 kernel with the kernel-ml (mainline) package. Each have their own -devel and related packages.

I would suggest the ELrepo packages over trying to get a Centos 8 kernel running on Centos 7.

  • Thx. I wasn't trying to get the 4.x kernel running inside RHEL7, rather I just needed to install the kernel-headers and kernel-devel installed in order to build some code which will run on CentOS8/RHEL on a different system. Not sure how this is usually handled if you have a build server which builds for various distros/levels. Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 1:16
  • Typicall, you don’t install a kernel from another release of CentOS on a system, although you can extract the contents. I normally use mock to do this kind of thing, although I am building kmod packages: github.com/rpm-software-management/mock/wiki
    – jsbillings
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 2:01

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