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Old 12-09-2009, 05:08 PM   #1
pokevitek
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Kernel and drivers?


Hi, I am new to linux. I have Intel 5100 wi-fi card and I have read all over the internet that Linux Kernel 2.6.21 is too old for this card. But I simply doesent understand that.I mean, on windows, when windows doesent have desired driver inside, I´ll just download the driver and everything is (sometimes) ok. But from what I have read it seems that Linux needs certain kernel changes in order to suport this card. Why can´t I just download some driver and then run it? Where is the limitation that I need to change kernel? Thanks for answer.
 
Old 12-09-2009, 07:27 PM   #2
hunternet93
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Actually, you can download drivers, but sometimes the driver won't work with your kernel version. Updating your system usually will update your kernel. If you are using Ubuntu or Debian, this command should get your system up to date:

Code:
sudo apt-get update;sudo apt-get upgrade
Using the update program already installed will do the same thing.
 
Old 12-09-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
Davno
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokevitek View Post
Hi, I am new to linux. I have Intel 5100 wi-fi card and I have read all over the internet that Linux Kernel 2.6.21 is too old for this card. But I simply doesent understand that.I mean, on windows, when windows doesent have desired driver inside, I´ll just download the driver and everything is (sometimes) ok. But from what I have read it seems that Linux needs certain kernel changes in order to suport this card. Why can´t I just download some driver and then run it? Where is the limitation that I need to change kernel? Thanks for answer.
Reason is that most hardware manufacturer don't care about providing support for Linux or BSD, they provide support (driver) for Windozz and Mac. Us we have to wait for a kernel upgrade, or somebody to write a driver. Some manufacturers are giving a minimal support. Longtime Linux user always check the Linux compatibility list or inquire about support before buying a new piece of hardware.
 
Old 12-09-2009, 11:12 PM   #4
hunternet93
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I forgot to mention: More recent kernels (2.6.24 and up) contain drivers buit-in for this card. I would suggest using the wicd program to manage wireless connections, it is easy to use and works far better than GNOME's built-in tool. (Ubuntu improves the tools BTW)
 
Old 12-09-2009, 11:42 PM   #5
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by pokevitek View Post
Hi, I am new to linux. I have Intel 5100 wi-fi card and I have read all over the internet that Linux Kernel 2.6.21 is too old for this card. But I simply doesent understand that.I mean, on windows, when windows doesent have desired driver inside, I´ll just download the driver and everything is (sometimes) ok. But from what I have read it seems that Linux needs certain kernel changes in order to suport this card. Why can´t I just download some driver and then run it? Where is the limitation that I need to change kernel? Thanks for answer.
Which distribution are you speaking of?

You could use the M$ driver with 'ndiswrapper' when in a jam.

I suggest that you do some further reading and research in order to understand GNU/Linux.

Just a few links to aid you;

Linux Documentation Project
Rute Tutorial & Exposition
Linux Command Guide
Utimate Linux Newbie Guide
LinuxSelfHelp
Getting Started with Linux
Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide
Linux Home Networking


The above links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just Slackware® links!
 
Old 12-09-2009, 11:54 PM   #6
xenophed
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Cool try this simple trick

Here's a simple way to do it
  1. 1.Open your favorite package tool
  2. 2.Refresh the package list
  3. 3.In the search type 'kernel' <enter>
  4. 4.Look in list for newest version it is up to 2.26.30
<br>
Hope it helps
 
Old 12-13-2009, 05:23 PM   #7
pokevitek
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Thank you guys, actually it was more theoretical qestion based on BackTrack 3 problems with this card. I just wondered why you just cannot install device drivers, without updating the whole kernel of the system. So, if I understand, this is becouse no one have written standalone driver, and then its only way to use newer kernel with that driver already installed? Just to understand it - could be theoretically these drivers transfered to older kernels, or is there something incompatible with them? I mean some reason thet newer kernel MUST be used?
 
Old 12-13-2009, 05:28 PM   #8
worm5252
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Yes the reason you can not just download the driver is because the hardware manufacturers don't make Linux drivers (most of the time). Instead the community has to develop the drivers themselves, and for wireless and several other types of hardware you will find a roll up package that covers several pieces of hardware in a kernel update. However some people such as myself try to avoid a kernel update as much as possible just because we have compiled custom kernel modules and do not want to go through that again unless we have to.
 
  


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