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cheelee 06-16-2005 08:23 PM

Installing driver modules without recompiling stock kernels
Is there a way to compile a driver module (say for a wireless card) so that it can be installed into a standard/stock kernel that is deliver with a distribution like Fedora Core 3, without having to compile a custom kernel ? Usually I see
that for drivers that did not come with the kernel (binaries), then you need to remake the kernel and patch it to support the new device driver.

It seems that on Windows platform, hardware vendors can deliver drivers that can be installed into Windows without the need for re-compiling the kernel or any compilation tools.

Does such environment exists in Linux (on any version) ?



Hangdog42 06-17-2005 03:01 PM

Actuallly you rarely have to recompile a stock kernel in order to compile a device driver. Usually the major requirement is to have the kernel source code and configuration available. For example, I use ndiswrapper to run my wireless card. The compile process creates a kernel module but as long as the stock kernel has basic wireless support (which most do) I don't have to touch the kernel. I just compile ndiswrapper and it works just fine with the existing kernel. There are some exceptions, but by and large, this is the way most drivers work.

cheelee 06-17-2005 10:54 PM

Does the distribution like Fedora Core 3 comes with the source, objects and configurations
that was used to make it in the first place ?

The last time I tried getting the kernel-source, there wasn't any objects (.obj) files. I am not sure
about the configurations. And so I ended up recompiling a new kernel and it tagged on a new version (modversion) number.



Hangdog42 06-18-2005 07:24 AM

FC3 certainly has the configuration available, however the kernel source probably isn't installed as part of the standard install. Most distros leave that out as a way of saving disk space. If you did a standard install the source RPM for your kernel should be on one of the CDs, or you should be able to obtain it from a Fedora mirror. I'm not sure about the .obj files, I don't think I've ever run across an error involving those. From my experience if you do a standard install and add the source code (and possibly the development tools, for some reason some distros don't install those as part of the standard install) you should be good to go. If you have a specific problem that is giving you fits, please post some details.

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