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Thread: Questions/help regarding kernel 2.6.31

  1. #1
    Movler NNTP User

    Default Questions/help regarding kernel 2.6.31

    Hi all.

    Like probably all Linux users, I'm excited about the upcoming release of 2.6.31. I'm fairly new to Linux, and my knowledge of programming is close to nothing.

    So my question is: when the new kernel is released, being that I'm a complete Linux newbie, would it be overreaching my limits in thinking that I can try and compile the new kernel for my system? Should I just perish the thought entirely, and wait until the update is available via YaST?

    As of now I have a stable, fully functioning, and (mostly) happy machine running openSUSE 11.1, but I'm very interested in the purported new capabilities and supports offered through 2.6.31. I've also heard from other Linux users that, if you care to bother updating the kernel, or simply recompiling it, it is "healthy" overall, esp. if one wants a kernel more specific to their machine. As for personal experience in this issue, I have virtually none, and thus I would love other peoples' opinions/knowledge on the matter.

    Thanks a lot!

    Movler

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Rockyford Alberta Canada
    Posts
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    Wink Re: Questions/help regarding kernel 2.6.31

    Not meant to rain on your parade, but you need to weigh closely the benefit you will receive from a new kernel versus the fact you have a working machine. You said your relatively new to Linux with little programming experience, so if you really have the need in your own judgment and are willing to face the challenge doing a fair amount of manual prep and learning, by all means go ahead and learn. If on the other hand you lack an alternate means of reaching out for help should the new kernel not re-compile exactly as expected, or you lack the time and patience, then err on the side of caution and wait for Yast which will do most of the upgrade for you. If you do proceed with Kernel compile please take the time to document all hardware and settings as they are now and do it both in written/printout form besides just making a file on your system somewhere. Keep running notes as you proceed so others can better help you.

    good luck
    Rick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Kansas City Area, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    7,236

    Default Re: Questions/help regarding kernel 2.6.31

    Rick is a little pessimistic. I have been compiling kernels for a long
    time. If you follow a few simple rules, then you will have no difficulty.

    (1) _NEVER_ build a kernel as root. It may not cause a problem;
    however, the kernel build scripts are quite complicated. At one time,
    anyone building their kernel as root had the system file /dev/null
    corrupted. That caused all kinds of funny things to happen.

    (2) After you load the source onto your computer, change directory to
    the root of that source and execute the following code:

    Code:
    cp /proc/config.gz  .
    gunzip config.gz
    cp config  .config
    These steps will create a configuration that matches your running
    kernel. It is not the most efficient, but it will work. Once you have
    it working, you can reconfigure and eliminate pieces you don't need.
    That will compile faster and reduce the size. BTW, I am deliberately
    not telling you what the above commands represent. That is homework.

    (3) Build and install the new kernel with the following:

    Code:
    make
    sudo  make modules_install  install
    (4) The second of the above commands will install the kernel and add
    it to the GRUB menu. Leave the standard kernel in the menu just in
    case the new one will not boot.

    (5) Be prepared to have to "build from scratch" any out-of-kernel
    drivers that you use. This list will include the 3D acceleration for
    ATI or nVidia graphics cards. In addition, a standard kernel will not
    have AppArmor available.

  4. #4
    Movler NNTP User

    Default Re: Questions/help regarding kernel 2.6.31

    Quote Originally Posted by techwiz03 View Post
    Not meant to rain on your parade, but you need to weigh closely the benefit you will receive from a new kernel versus the fact you have a working machine. You said your relatively new to Linux with little programming experience, so if you really have the need in your own judgment and are willing to face the challenge doing a fair amount of manual prep and learning, by all means go ahead and learn. If on the other hand you lack an alternate means of reaching out for help should the new kernel not re-compile exactly as expected, or you lack the time and patience, then err on the side of caution and wait for Yast which will do most of the upgrade for you. If you do proceed with Kernel compile please take the time to document all hardware and settings as they are now and do it both in written/printout form besides just making a file on your system somewhere. Keep running notes as you proceed so others can better help you.

    good luck
    Rick
    I will take that into consideration. Thanks!

  5. #5
    Movler NNTP User

    Default Re: Questions/help regarding kernel 2.6.31

    Quote Originally Posted by lwfinger View Post
    Rick is a little pessimistic. I have been compiling kernels for a long
    time. If you follow a few simple rules, then you will have no difficulty.

    (1) _NEVER_ build a kernel as root. It may not cause a problem;
    however, the kernel build scripts are quite complicated. At one time,
    anyone building their kernel as root had the system file /dev/null
    corrupted. That caused all kinds of funny things to happen.

    (2) After you load the source onto your computer, change directory to
    the root of that source and execute the following code:

    Code:
    cp /proc/config.gz  .
    gunzip config.gz
    cp config  .config
    These steps will create a configuration that matches your running
    kernel. It is not the most efficient, but it will work. Once you have
    it working, you can reconfigure and eliminate pieces you don't need.
    That will compile faster and reduce the size. BTW, I am deliberately
    not telling you what the above commands represent. That is homework.

    (3) Build and install the new kernel with the following:

    Code:
    make
    sudo  make modules_install  install
    (4) The second of the above commands will install the kernel and add
    it to the GRUB menu. Leave the standard kernel in the menu just in
    case the new one will not boot.

    (5) Be prepared to have to "build from scratch" any out-of-kernel
    drivers that you use. This list will include the 3D acceleration for
    ATI or nVidia graphics cards. In addition, a standard kernel will not
    have AppArmor available.
    Awesome. This information has been a lot of help. Thank you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Kln, Deutschland
    Posts
    1,054

    Default Re: Questions/help regarding kernel 2.6.31

    There is an even easier way which avoids many hours of compiling only to find out that it doesn't work.

    Plus you get the benefit of the kernel being compiled already with all the SUSE peculiarities already included.

    Simply add a new HTTP repo in Yast -> Software -> Software repositories

    Give it a nice name - SUSE Development Kernel Of The Day
    Select protocol - HTTP
    Server name - download.opensuse.org
    Directory on server - /repositories/Kernel:/HEAD/openSUSE_Factory/

    Save it, refresh your repos, go into Yast -> Software -> Software Management, search for kernel, and change to the latest version.

    Install, reboot, done
    HP dv6645, Nvidia 8400m-gs, KDE 4.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Groningen, Netherlands
    Posts
    20,925
    Blog Entries
    14

    Default Re: Questions/help regarding kernel 2.6.31

    That's not going to work when you have an NVIDIA or ATI card. It stumbles on having a kernel that's compiled with a different compiler than you have on your 11.1 system.
    ° Appreciate my reply? Click the star and let me know why.

    ° Perfection is not gonna happen. No way.

    http://en.opensuse.org/User:Knurpht
    http://nl.opensuse.org/Gebruiker:Knurpht

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Kln, Deutschland
    Posts
    1,054

    Default Re: Questions/help regarding kernel 2.6.31

    Quote Originally Posted by Knurpht View Post
    That's not going to work when you have an NVIDIA or ATI card. It stumbles on having a kernel that's compiled with a different compiler than you have on your 11.1 system.
    It works with the Nvidia driver, you just ignore it when it complains about being compiled with gcc4 .
    HP dv6645, Nvidia 8400m-gs, KDE 4.

  9. #9
    Movler NNTP User

    Default Re: Questions/help regarding kernel 2.6.31

    Quote Originally Posted by growbag View Post
    There is an even easier way which avoids many hours of compiling only to find out that it doesn't work.

    Plus you get the benefit of the kernel being compiled already with all the SUSE peculiarities already included.

    Simply add a new HTTP repo in Yast -> Software -> Software repositories...
    I'm now successfully running kernel 2.6.31-rc8 thanks to this help. Although lwfinger's info was very helpful, this of course was easier than compiling the entire new kernel. I thank you very much! And though I took the "easy way out" of sorts I still will be valuing and intending to use the commands.

    Thanks once again,
    Movler

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    /Linux/Userland
    Posts
    279

    Question Re: Questions/help regarding kernel 2.6.31

    Quote Originally Posted by Movler View Post
    I'm now successfully running kernel 2.6.31-rc8 thanks to this help. :) Although lwfinger's info was very helpful, this of course was easier than compiling the entire new kernel. I thank you very much! And though I took the "easy way out" of sorts I still will be valuing and intending to use the commands.
    If you have an nVidia Graphics Card, did you run into a problem with nVidia drivers or find the need to install them manually after upgrading to the new 2.6.31 kernel using "growbag"s method ?
    Linux User 483705 @ http://counter.li.org/

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