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Question on driver availability / backports


quick introduction of myself: The guy that is repsonsible to bring Linux
on the desktop PCs at Fujitsu Siemens Computers.

Now my question: I tried to install the latest Lenny netinstall snapshot
on our current destkop models today, but unfortunately this snapshot is
missing the support for the Intel Boazman LAN in e1000e. Boazman is
device ID 8086:10df.

Yes, I understand the issues of freezes and that Lenny will come with a
2.6.26 kernel that doesn't support this device. So my concern is about
how I can support our customers that still want to use Debian on actual
PC hardware.

So a few questions, I hope that this mailing list is the correct one to
ask this:

1. Is there a sort of "driver backport" group that takes care of such
issues? Or is the concept behind debian to move forward to newer kernels
to obtain hardware support?

2. Is there a mechanism to replace drivers during installation.
Imagining I would get a working e1000e module somehow I still would need
to make it usable on the installation process, at the moment all I can
think of is adding it by hand to the proper modules/../updates directory
and inserting it by hand. Looks not like an easy to use setup. :-)
Ok, maybe this is more for the debian-boot mailing list, is it?

Please don't take this as a negative feedback. I'm very fond of Debian,
and I would even volunteer to help on those issues somehow. Its sad to
see that if Lenny will be released it will be "too old" for actual
PC hardware already.

Best regards
Dipl.-Inf. (FH) Rainer Koenig

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