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    Kernel-Compile-Debian-Style
    Contributed by Terence on Wednesday, August 15 @ 10:25:17 BST

    Linux
    The other day, Wichert Akkerman told me I needed to upgrade my 2.2.10 kernel to something more recent. The newbie that I am, I thought this could be done apt-get upgrade style, but I see now that upgrading the kernel is not really the same as upgrading the rest of the system packages. That leads me to my inquiry ...

    rob: Checkout my article here it may help

    1. What kernel should I going to, considering I am running Debian 2.2 (potato)? I don't want to use woody kernal packages (2.4.x), but something known to be stable. Also, I don't want to do any fancy customizations or add new devices. Should I use 2.2.17, 18, 19?



    2. Where do I get the kernel binaries? I saw some kernel packages at debian.org, but I didn't know where to start, which ones I needed, or what do to with them.



    3. Is there a HOWTO for upgrading the kernel using Debian distro packages that I'm missing? I couldn't find anything in the snow of false hits at the LDP site. I've seen kernel-compile HOWTOs before, but they said nothing about taking advantage of Debian packaging. I also looked at one HOWTO at this site - it looked somewhat related to what I need to do but I wasn't sure about it.



    4. Maybe someone can write a HOWTO for this with all the precautionary measures listed?



    5. Maybe the whole answer is sitting under my very nose with the apt-get function?



    Feedback, anyone?

     
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  • "Kernel-Compile-Debian-Style" | Login/Create Account | 5 comments
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    Re: Kernel-Compile-Debian-Style (Score: 2, Informative)
    by mopsuestia on Wednesday, August 15 @ 13:54:23 BST
    (User Info)

    1. As with most software the kernel stability tends to increase with each minor release. So I would do with 2.2.19, if you are wanting to stick with stuff you can just apt-get. Once you get the hang of installing kernels (hint, it's just like installing any other package), you might want to check out the kernel-package and start rolling your own kernels for your specific system. After you configure the kernel, the kernel-package nicely compiles you kernel and modules and rolls them into a .deb that you can then simply 'dpkg -i'.

    2. Unless you are compiling your own, just grab the ones that are packaged on debian.org. Really, unless you are making install disks, you can just use the vanilla 'kernel-image-2.2.19' without any of the suffixes (such as '-ide' or '-compact'). Again, I would go with 2.2.19. I would avoid 2.2.18pre21 since it wasn't an actual stable release. Oh and you want the kernel IMAGE. The source is, well, the source. The headers are used for compiling 3rd party kernel modules. The docs...well you can figure that out!

    3-5. Back when the FAQ-omatic was running on the Debian site, ther were good instructions there. I haven't had to look recently though. There's really nothing to kernel installation, though. Kernel compilation is another issue, but with the kernel-package, even that is easy!

    So, step by step....

    'apt-get update'

    'apt-get upgrade' // Not necessary, but a good idea

    'apt-get install kernel-image-2.2.19' // This will take you through your lilo configuration as well. The on-screen instructions are fairly clear, I think, but it's been a while, since I now use grub instead of lilo.

    'reboot' // Wait for it to reboot, watch the boot messages just in case something fails

    'modconf' // Make sure all your modules are still there and installed

    If something should happen to go wrong (it rarely does), lilo should have pointed the LinuxOLD label in lilo to your old kernel, so there is no problem booting your old kernel to fix/remove the new one.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Kernel-Compile-Debian-Style (Score: 0)
    by Anonymous on Wednesday, August 15 @ 18:44:09 BST

    If you are on a laptop do pcmcia packages have to be updated too? And why do kernel versions on pcmcia modules not match the versions on the kernels themselves? Ie.. 2.2.19 vs 2.2.19pre17.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Kernel-Compile-Debian-Style (Score: 1)
    by captainlarry (org.spack@larry) on Thursday, August 16 @ 02:14:51 BST
    (User Info) http://www.spack.org/~larry/

    yes if you are on a laptop you need to update your pcmcia modules package as well. one of my major minor gripes about debian is that the pcmcia-modules packages are almost always out of sync with the kernel-image modules. the easiest thing to do is to "apt-get install pcmcia-source" and build your own pcmcia deb's.

    while not hard this isn't trivial either.

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Kernel-Compile-Debian-Style (Score: 1)
    by Anonymous on Thursday, August 16 @ 16:52:17 BST

    But with the plain kernel:

    - my parallel printer does not work

    - my ide cd read-write does not write

    - my sound card does not work

    Why not have an available kernel with most widely used modules available? Actually, this is my biggest problem with Debian. I love the distribution. But if I want to upgrade my kernel, I have to reconfigure it so that everything works.

    On the plus side, I now know a little bit about kernel install.. But Mandrake was better for me in that area. Still, Mandrake was a ass hole to upgrade. Vive Debian! 🙂

    [ Reply ]


    Re: Kernel-Compile-Debian-Style (Score: 1)
    by Terence on Thursday, August 16 @ 19:29:02 BST
    (User Info)

    Actually I think the kernel should be as independent of the drivers/modules as possible. That is the problem with Linux. If you want to update your system, things can and will get broken. You are punished for upgrading - just as you would be if you were using Windows.

    Why should I have to spend hours trying troubleshooting to get the kernel to work or to "customize" it? Leave that to the hobbyists with spare time on their hands. Drivers - modules - whatever they are - should be independent plug-ins. Maybe a distro should come with prepackaged plug-ins for the basic stuff - hard drives, printers, cd-roms - but they should be plug-ins nonetheless. So, if I have some custom module/plug-in that's necessary for my Whamco WHIZ-BANG 3D graphics card in a folder and I update my kernel, the kernel should simply go to the folder and find it (backward compatibility). The kernel should not have to be rebuilt - everything should be modular. The same goes for X, too!

    Why, I can even imagine some utility that you open up and with a tap of the key/click of mouse, you add or delete drivers, modules, and similiar widgets from your widget folder. When you select a widget from the list, some textual information can pop up and tell you what the widget is and what on earth it does. Maybe the drivers, etc. have to be packaged a certian way, just like .deb binaries. Think of it as the dselect of drivers. Modconf seems to want to be this, but it doesn't seem to be as functional or end-user oriented as the dpkg utilities.

    Let's keep it simple, like "You wanna add a printer?" or "Add modem?" and let the dude who owns the computer be able to browse a folder and find the widget. That way, we won't need mountains of HOWTOs on kernels and drivers. Click, snap, presto. Am I demanding too much?

    [ Reply ]


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