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Hardware-specific drivers/kernels archive (WAS: Re: FWD: RMS and Debian on his Toshiba)

Enrique Zanardi wrote:
> That's why the old bootdisks had two different "flavors", "normal"
> rescue and drivers disks and "tecra" ones. The "tecra" ones used a
> different kernel, zImage, with a few other patches.

Maybe so ... but the tecra boot disks in hamm must have been different,
because they seemed to be bzImage like the "normal" boot disks.  IIRC. 
Or, maybe they were zImage ... but either way, they wouldn't boot. 
(Hang right after printing "Uncompressing Linux ...")  Recompiling
2.0.35 on a machine I had nearby (luckily!) and putting that (zImage)
kernel on a boot disk made everything work.  As noted below, maybe this
is all fixed now -- I haven't checked lately.  (So maybe I should keep
my mouth shut, right? :)

> "But it moves!". kernel-image-2.0.36 is a zImage kernel.
> boot-floppies_2.1.4 uses that one (that's why there's no "tecra" flavor
> now).
> > so compiling a Thinkpad-600-specific kernel (which contains a few other
> > tweaks, like the APM_NOINTS define to make suspend/resume work) is
> > usually the best option.
> What's wrong with using the "tecra" boot floppies?

Maybe nothing.  It just rang a big bell in the back of my head when he
mentioned problems booting a Thinkpad 600 -- I use a custom kernel here,
and so I haven't had occasion to even try the Debian boot floppies on a
Thinkpad since about August or so.  If you'd like, I'll test them out --
but only to the point of booting.  (Don't have the space to try a
complete install ... :)

All the same, should we put together a drivers/kernels archive for
specific hardware?  I mean, in supplying a distribution, doesn't it make
sense to provide at least .debs of custom-made kernels.  That way, Joe
User with a Thinkpad (for instance) doesn't have to track down the
linux-laptop mailing lists and support pages, plus figure out how to
compile kernels, just to get proper APM, sound, and pointer support ...
just a thought.  An off-the-top-of-my-head estimate is that with a few
more precompiled kernels, we could really make life easier for a lot of
the laptop folks out there.  (Wasn't there a laptop-friendliness
discussion here recently?  Deja vu.)

Anderson MacKay <mackay@rice.edu>

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