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Re: Kernel Upgrade?

On Sunday 30 January 2005 11:18, Max wrote:
>Dear All,
>Is it possible to change the Linux kernel in a Debian installation
> without having to do a complete reinstall?


>I have e version ok Knoppix to hand so I'm feeling quite brave.  I
> read a vague report that the kernel is just an ordinary file in
> some specific location, and it's possible to copy the old kernel to
> a backup directory for safe keeping, put a new kernel in said
> specific location, reboot and presto!

However, from the sounds of your experience/expertise level, I would 
not recommend that you do that just yet.
>Finally, is there anything I should be aware of before changing the
>kernel?  The only reason prompting me to change the kernel is that I
> have a bit of software the documentation of which states that the
> kernel should be v2.4 or later.  For instance, does a change in
> kernel usually go hand in hand with changing some other part of a
> system?

There are other files in the /boot dir or partition, and in 
the /lib/modules dirs that also need to be maintained as matched 
sets.  These can be maintained in parallel so that many choices of 
which kernel to boot are presented on the grub screen.

If your system uses grub, as opposed to lilo, then once some 
experience is obtained, its quite easy to maintain a grub menu choice 
of several kernels to boot from.

The reason I'm wary of leading you down the garden path on this is 
that to build and install a newer kernel, particularly a switch from 
a 2.4 series to a 2.6 series is that the module utilities also need 
to be updated at the same time, and that can be rather daunting to 
someone just getting started.  To say that I found the instructions 
on that a bit obtuse is a fair statement.  The obtuseness was the 
order in which the moves and links were to be carried out.

Until that time, your best bet is to use the apt-get utility to do 
those updates as it will more or less automaticly grab everything 
else needed to do the update.  See the man page for help on that.

If building from scratch and this is not the first time, it helps 
considerably to copy the old kernels .config files to the new kernels 
src tree, then do a make oldconfig, which will if required ask you 
some questions and write a new .config file that for the most part 
keeps all your older prefs intact.  If you didn't build the 
previously running kernel, then this becomes much more complex and 
you must be intimately familiar with your hardware so as to make 
intelligent choices for all the options presented to you when you 
then do a 'make xconfig' and prepare to build one for your hardware.

Spend some time studying the outputs of lspci, and lsusb, as they show 
things now, and you'll be a lot better prepared to run a make xconfig 
in a new kernels src tree and make the right choices.


Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
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Copyright 2005 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.

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