Kernel Upgrade - OpenSUSE 11.1

I need to upgrade my kernel to enable my TV card to work. The kernel version needs to be 2.6.28 or above.

I would be grateful for advice on which is the best kernel version to use (functionality v. hassle), and for any other guidance, since I’m a kernel upgrade virgin!

Thanks in advance

Dear virgin :slight_smile:

You can update your kernel by adding this repo:

Index of /repositories/Kernel:/HEAD/openSUSE_11.1

Mind that this is a “work in progress” kernel, i didn’t see anywhere a “stable” kernel.

I know next to nothing about kernel upgrades (beyound the very basic ones that Novell/SuSE-GmbH provide) so I can not offer much.

I do note that there is a high probability your drivers will be broken when you change from the 2.6.27 to the 2.6.28 (or higher) kernel. Specifically your graphics, webcam, wireless, audio drivers could be impacted unfavourably, forcing you to custom compile those drivers.

Now if you are not in to custom compiling your own kernel, you could try to install some one else’s pre-compiled kerenel for openSUSE-11.1.

If you do a search on web pin for kernel you will find this:
Webpin search for precompiled kernels

I note several 2.6.31/2.6.30 and 2.6.29 precompiled kernels. I do not see any 2.6.28’s. I suspect the move from 2.6.27 to 2.6.31 may be too big, with additional complexity (but someone who knows more than I must chime in here and correct me). So if it were me, and if I was committed to this path of action of installing a non-Novell/SuSE-GmbH packaged kernel, then I would likly try a 2.6.29 pre-compiled kernel first.

Note if installing someone’ elses kernel packaged as an rpm, you could install it and keep your old kernel.

If it were me, I would

  • backup /boot/grub/menu.lst file
  • type: rpm -qa | grep kernel #to see what rpms I had installed for my kernel
  • download (not install yet) to my hard drive all the appropriate rpms to replace the rpms noted above;
  • install the above rpms with the command: rpm -ivh kernel-<1st>.rpm kernel-<2nd>.rpm kernel-<3rd>.rpm kernel-source<4th>.rpm kernel-syms<4th>.rpm # …etc … ensureing I obtained sufficient rpms that I could compile my drivers aftward - note do NOT use rpm -Uvh as that will replace instead of keep the old kernel;
  • BEFORE rebooting, check my updated (by the rpm install) /boot/grub/menu.lst file to ensure it allowed booting between either kernel. If ok, then reboot; if not then fix the /boot/grub/menu.lst file via hand edits;
  • boot to the new kernel to see how much is broken
  • start rebuilding drivers, in the knowledge that for every driver that I custom compile for the new kernel, will likely break that same driver functionality on the older kernel

and thats pretty much the limit/sum of my knowlege.

I am now going to go into lurking mode on this thread, as in truth I do not know much, and I have more to learn here, than to offer.

Listen to oldcpu, he’s the guru around here :wink: (no, seriously, he is a guru around here)

Oh, I know! It’s oldcpu’s advice that has got me this far:)

I have just found a text copy of great “how to” from early 2007, by Snakedriver on installing a parallel kernel, which has given me more confidence. I don’t know if it’s still around somewhere, but I could post it if anyone wants it.

I certainly want to install any new kernel in parallel to the old one, for safety, and I am in the process of backing up EVERYTHING to a USB hard drive right now!

Thanks for your help, everyone. Stand by for screams of panic!!!

You may always install the 2.6.30 and not from openSUSE. It’s as easy as make, make modules_install make install :slight_smile:

And you can always customize it :slight_smile:

Thanks, BBR

I’m getting quite excited about this project now!

I’ll probably try the pre-compiled route first, then have a go at compiling as you suggest.

It’s vital, though, that the original kernel stays intact, since this is my main machine. Can you confirm that the method you describe does this (i.e. provides another boot option)?

I would also be very grateful for more detail of this method if you have time. A step-by-step would be fantastic!

Thanks again

First install qt3-devel (customizing the kernelin GUI)
then, get the kernel source from, unpack it somewhere in your home (we need to have write permissions).

open terminal where your kernel is and type make xconfig.

There you can customize the kernel to suit your system.

Some tips:

check what modules you have right now with lsmod and search for them while in that GUI (some modules are named a bit different), remove specific modules you don’t need, if not sure leave it at least as module. If you know that something will definitely be loaded (sound module, usb etc. make it built in), the rest leave as modules.

After compiling it will install it and create a boot entry :slight_smile:

Move that source folder to /usr/src/

and create symlink to this with ln -s /usr/src/<your custom kernel folder> /usr/src/linux (it may and will happen that there already is a symlink then just remove it).

you can parallel install kernels (and other apps) by enabling this in /etc/zypp/zypp.conf - look for the multiversion variable :wink:

Easy as pie :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks everyone. I’ll keep you posted!

The HEAD:/ 2.6.31 actually works pretty well except for the desktop kernel which is out of build sync with the rest of the packages (and mainly the kernel-source) which causes issues when building something.

With some trickery;
Linux atreus 2.6.31-rc5-git9-20.1-desktop #1 SMP PREEMPT 2009-08-15 12:18:45 +0200 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Thanks, Chrysantine.

So, as my first step, would you recommend trying the pre-compiled 2.6.31, rather than 2.6.29?

I told you before: you’re going to run into trouble. I know what you’re talking about, my TV card is a DVB-C, and I know that 2.6.27 is not supporting the latest drivers from

The card is in my server machine, where I installed 2.6.29 when it was in the HEAD repo. As soon as 2.6.30 came out I tried that and completely messed up my install: compiler errors all over the place. Since I keep a copy of my root partition, there was just a loss of time, but I had to get back to 2.6.29 ( I kept the rpms for a while )

If I were you I would either wait for 11.2, or upgrade your system to Factory and keep your fingers crossed. That might bring in new problems, but at least gives you a stable kernel-development pattern.

Right - 2.6.29 it is then.

Actually, I wouldn’t recommend any of the above methods. With any kernel above 2.6.28 you’ll have problems with ATI if you posess one, and with 2.6.29 you’ll possibly have sound problems.

My advice is to download 2.6.29 and 2.6.30 sources from The Linux Kernel Archives , full versions (F link).
Uncompile both to /usr/src and “make menuconfig” in both. Set parameters (drivers etc) of your desire, compile (make, make modules_install, make install).
Now, you will have all kernels in your GRUB, so you can experiment for what works for you.

NEVER, I SAY, NEVER upgrade kernel from openSUSE repositories. You will only find pain.

Funny, I’m running a repository upgraded 2.6.31-git series (2.6.30 /w SuSE + other patches) and it works just fine. Even the X-fi driver is kosher.

No problems at all? Not with gcc44 ? From which repo?

You forgot the HEAD repo has kernels for 11.1 Factory and earlier versions and i guess every version gets compiled with proper gcc. It’s not like all the kernel will be compiled with 4.4.1 even for 11.0 since in such case there would be no sense in creating separate repo’s for other distro versions.

Oh! My brain hurts!!:wink:



I downloaded kernel-pae, kernel-base and kernel-extra rpms of version 2.6.29-1.1, from the openSuse Build Service, installed them using rpm -ivh and everything seems to be working fine (keeping fingers crossed).

What’s even more fantastic is that the TV card is also working at last! I’ve just been watching UK DVB-T without a hitch.

Many, many thanks to everyone for their help and support.