How do I upgrade kernel to 4.4.0-xx ?

I have built a droplet with Ubuntu-14.04 and immediately upgrade it to a pre-release version of Ubuntu-16.04. Everything seemed working fine, and I installed and set up several servers (apache2, postfix, dovecot, …) but the kernel remained at 3.17.0-71.

Since the official 16.04 was released, I did “apt-get dist-upgrade,” which has installed the kept-back kernels along with many other packages. However, it has made no changes in terms of the kernel version to be booted.

Shortly, I found that on a digitalocean droplet, the kernel should be selected in the control panel. I did select Ubuntu-16.04 kernel-4.4.0-21 in the menu and started the droplet but it wouldn’t respond. “Console Access” revealed that the droplet started up but had no ethN I/F.

With putting back the kernel to Ubuntu-14.04 kernel-3.17.0-71, everything has started working properly.

Are there any ways to work around this problem around the missing ethN I/F? Or must I port everything to a newly created droplet?

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Hi, after you changed the kernel to 4.4, you need to change your network interface name in /etc/network/interface as the kernel change eth0 to something like ens3 (like my case - confirm it with ip addr show) Then restart networking service you should be fine :)

Droplets originally based on 14.04 still use our older kernel model where the kernel is managed outside of the Droplets themselves. This article explains how this works and shows how to update your kernel:

The key is to make sure the version in the panel and the Droplet match. You can check the kernels available to your Droplet by running:

ls /boot/vmlinuz*

So if you selected “Ubuntu-16.04 kernel-4.4.0-21” in the control panel, you’ll need to have this in the output:


If you’re still running into issues, please go ahead and open a support ticket so the team can take a closer look.

Note: For Droplets based on 16.04, the kernels no longer need to be managed through the control panel. So depending on your use case, it might just be better to move to a new Droplet rather than update in place.

Your best option at this point would be to port your applications to a new server running Ubuntu 16.04. This will ultimately save you time, and be the most surefire way to get up and running on the latest kernel.