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Old 11-05-2003, 04:57 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Akron, OH
Distribution: SuSE 8.2, Slackware current, OpenBSD 3.5-3.8, Fedora Core 2
Posts: 400

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Multiple kernels, one partition -- possible?

I currently have SuSE 8.2 successfully installed (kernel 2.4.20-4GB) on my Inspiron 8200. Over the last 3 months or so I've managed to figure out how to get 95% of my cards, gadgets, and other electronic do-dads to work correctly. Unfortunately, one thing that isn't implemented completely is ACPI (as we are all painfully aware). I started playing around with the idea of updating my kernel to the latest test kernet (2.6.0-test9) -- not only to get ACPI, but also just to figure out how to install a new kernel. I've managed to download the new kernel source, configure it, compile it and actually install it. I even managed to upgrade GRUB so that I can boot off of the old kernel image or the new one. However, there are many things that do not work when I boot up into 2.6.0-test9.

Now my question: While everything using the old kernel still works, I am concerned that if I start tweaking files (such as the X11 files and the nVIDIA drivers) to work with the new kernel, things will stop working when I boot using my old kernel. Is it possible to have multiple kernels co-exist on the same partition or would the best avenue for me to take is to set up a brand new partition so that each kernel can have it's own copy of the files necessary to run X, KDE, etc.

I guess the problem lies in:

1) I want to make sure I have a working laptop so that I can continue to use it for e-mail, surfing, documents, etc.

2) I don't want to have unnecessary duplication of files if I can help it

3) I want to have the freedom of working on getting the new 2.6.0-test9 kernel working correctly before I stop using the 2.4.20-4GB kernel.

Any suggestions?

Old 11-05-2003, 05:14 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: México (Juárez)
Distribution: SuSE 9.3
Posts: 108

Rep: Reputation: 15
Maybe the problem you have is that the needed modules are not compiled or they are not loading, the new kernel 2.6.x read the module configuration from modprobe.conf and not from modules.conf.
Besides of the new kernel, you will also need the latest version of the module-init-tools, which i think it is 0.9.14, you can get em from


read the instruction on how to set em up and you will be fine.
Also you need to tweak a bit the mkinitrd script from SuSE, i can provide the modified one i have so the initrd image is creaded properly.
Old 11-05-2003, 05:14 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: in a fallen world
Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
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Just go for it mate :)

All you need to do is give them different names,
and use them accordingly from lilo, and don't
copy all the sources into the same directory :)

Make sure that you have sensible version
number in each kernels Makefile, like
That way all modules will live in separate,
appropriate subdirectories of /lib/modules



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