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I am very close to getting a fully functional 188.8.131.52 kernel on my Debian laptop. The issue that I am having involves the 3com 10/100 mini-pci network card. The new kernel uses the 3c59x.c file (located in /usr/src/kernel-source-2.6.8/drivers/net/) as the driver for this card. There are multiple instances on groups.google of the kernel team discussing this problem, and several people have claimed to have fixed the issue, but I can't get any of their patches to make my card work.
Not that this has any impact on my question, but the card will neither accept a DHCP address nor a static IP, can't ping itself or any other machine, but does allow you to ping the local loopback of 127.0.0.1 regardless of the rest of the IP info.
The card works fine under the 2.4.25 kernel that was installed when I built the machine a few weeks ago. I just downloaded the source for the 2.4.25 kernel, and was pleased to find the same driver in the same location of that kernel. What I would like to do is hopefully drop the functional 3c59x.c file from the 2.4.25 tree into the 2.6.8 tree, compile it, and have the card work. Can this be done, or will there be issues?
really, the only way to know with any particular file, is to try it. I belive the two kernels use a slightly different protocol in the files, so you may have to hack it a bit. I would reccommend against this, however, because it can bring up all sorts of bugs.