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Re: 2.4 Kernel Stability

Hello folks again :-)

Am Montag, 30. Juni 2003 09:49 schrieb James:
> I need many of the new features in a 2.4 based kernel on my portable.
> However, I like the Stable packages, as I have not had any issues, except 
> my own lack of knowledge of Debian on a laptop.
> I have a Prostar P-IV running at 2GHz....

I run woody (stable) with kernel 2.4.5 and XFree 4.2.1.
Higher versions may also work well.

With linux on a new laptop, it's a good idea to learn how to compile a custom 
kernel that fits to your laptop.
If once you maintained the first steps, it's a great fun :-)
It's one of the most FAQ in linux, and there are many threads in list 
You have to install a package like kernel-source-2.4.5.
There's a lot of docu within.
For compiling install 'kernel-package' and read the related doc (in 
For possibly occuring difficulties with (e.g.) Sound, XFree, ACPI, and pcmcia 
cards please feel free to ask on this (or any other) list. 

Searching the list archives first is always a good idea. 

As you will have a bunch of questions you may look into some of the following 
sites (a small collection):


> I read that may people are running 2.4.x kernels on their portables. Is
> there a (semi) stable release of  Debian 2.4, that I can run on a portable?
Any release basically works on a range of kernel versions;  however the most 
safe choice are the ones shipped within. For woody 3.1. it's around 2.4.18 or 

> Could a portable boot 2 kernels (2.2.a and 2.4) from lilo without having
> the installed packages wig out?
(I'm not sure what you mean here) 
Booting a kernel doesn't affect the packages.
When the kernel has booted, it passes control to the init-process which 
purpose is to start (and also shut down) most of the services that built up 
your runlevel configuration. 
Debian's default is to directly enter runlevel 2, defined in /etc/rc2.d.
Runlevel 1 is 'single', designed for recovering issues. 
There's also an /etc/rcS.d for general booting tasks.
It's easy to define sperate runlevels started from a specific kernel. 
3-5 are unused, you can use these for custom.
(Note that other distros differ in the scheme)
For example, me got a standard desktop (2) and an network-study runlevel (3), 
each booting with it's own custom version of 2.4.5. 
It works through a paramter passed to the init process, given as 
kernel-parameter in lilo.config ('init=3').
See /usr/src/kernel-source-2.4.5/Documentation/kernel-parameters
Also /usr/share/doc/debian-policy, chapter 10.3.

> This way I can test everything on the same portable BEFORE making a
> permanent commitment to 2.4.
You can install many different kernels and define many different 'booting 
images' at once. No permanent commitment.

For testing different kernels / images with lilo you should prepare a 
bootfloppy, and test it carefully.

It is easier and safer to use grub instead - but then again, you would need 
to learn the how-to first  ....
(but think of the money we've spared (and will do in future) with linux, some 
of what we could give some hacker to configure the stuff - it's a fair deal 
and helps against unemployment (and M$ also) ;-)

good luck


                                    mi <mrl>

Have a look at:
Re: inittab zerschossen
Datum: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 13:57:21 +0200
Von: Sebastian Henschel <debian@kodeaffe.de>
Kopie: debian-laptop@lists.debian.org


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