debian kernel upgrade to 2.6.32-5-amd64 but uname still shows 686

mark asked:

I’m try to upgrade a debian system to 2.6 64 bit kernel with the command

aptitude install linux-image-2.6.32-5-amd64

which works fine.

The system reboots,
/vmlinuz -> boot/vmlinuz-2.6.32-5-amd64

all good

however uname -a returns

Linux hostname 2.6.32-5-686 #1 SMP Sun May 6 04:01:19 UTC 2012 i686 GNU/Linux

Am I missing something or is this correct?

My answer:

One does not simply install a 64-bit kernel to change a 32-bit installation to a 64-bit installation. You usually have to completely reinstall the system.

That said, the Debian Wiki has a workaround which can be used to migrate 32 to 64-bit on a live system, but it looks hairy enough that I’d probably just reinstall.

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