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Old 12-10-2004, 03:13 PM   #1
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Question debian appending 'n' to newly built kernel name?

Hi everyone,

I'm more or less comfortable compiling my own kernel and have done it several times using Debian's make-kpkg tools.

Last week I downloaded 2.6.9 from and for some reason the make-kpkg tools build the kernel with the name 2.6.9n ! Why? All the modules are now in /lib/modules/2.6.9n/ , and the login screen reads "Linux 2.6.9n". But when I build the NVidia 6629 driver with "make-kpkg modules_image" it installs itself in /lib/modules/2.6.9/ and of course doesn't work.

I've tried copying the kernel module over to /lib/modules/2.6.9n/ but X looks terrible. Window damage and redrawing is broken, and it soon crashes.

Any ideas?
Old 12-10-2004, 03:41 PM   #2
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My idea is don't use the debian kernel package tools but just use the general compile from source path.

untar the sources in /usr/src
make a symbolic link linux to it (ln -s linux-2.6.9 linux)
cd into the directory
make menuconfig
make && make modules
make modules_install
make install
Old 12-10-2004, 08:55 PM   #3
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what do you get from
uname --release
if its 2.6.9n
then you might be able to get the nvidia driver to compile correctly
should be using uname --release
but it might be using a link /usr/src/linux to the wrong source directory
do you have another compile of 2.6.9 there ?
or did debian make that link ? (you can just delete it)
better to not have that link at all but if you do you need to keep it up to date pointing to current running kernel source directory not another one.
shold be a link in /lib/modules/2.6.9n named "build" that points to current running source directory and that is what the nvidia driver should be using
make sure that's links not broken

Last edited by foo_bar_foo; 12-10-2004 at 09:05 PM.
Old 12-11-2004, 09:46 AM   #4
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Nobody trusts the Debian build tools! Ah well, neither do I, sometimes. kernel-package had an update this morning so I am trying again with the new version.

Ran X with the 'vesa' driver, everything works fine. So it is definitely an 'nvidia' problem.

uname-r reports 2.6.9n and the symlink /lib/modules/2.6.9n/build points to the right directory.

The /usr/src/linux symlink I made in the past (dunno, everyone else's using it) pointed to an old directory (Linus' infamous, I fixed it before starting this morning's compile.

Will post if I have any more luck today.

Old 12-19-2004, 06:43 PM   #5
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re: debian appending 'n' to newly built kernel name?

Hi there

This is probably an old thread, but I had the same problem when I compiled 2.6.9 on one of my systems.

I'm guessing you did "make oldconfig" after copying in your config file from a previous release. There is a question about Local version - append to kernel release. I typed a "n" when prompted, thinking it was a yes or no question. It isn't. Whatever you type in response to that question will be appended to your kernel's version.

You can use make menuconfig to fix it. Just go into General setup. It's the first question.

This was driving me nuts this weekend, and I had to post a reply when I found out what was causing it.
Old 12-20-2004, 03:04 PM   #6
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Lightbulb Doh!

Thank you so much. Not an old thread at all. Was dead simple to find and fix.

My NVIDIA drivers are still hooped, but i hear that's an old TNT2 incompatibility problem.


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