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Old 02-14-2004, 12:09 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Oklahoma
Distribution: Debian, Windows 2K,
Posts: 41

Rep: Reputation: 15
Question on Debian Kernel's

Please let me know if any of these statements are wrong:

I know you can Update a kernel (Ex. Updating a kernel from 2.2.20 to 2.6.2)
by downloading from the entire tar.gz file and compiling it.

That you can upgrade your kernel using a patch tar.gz that will allow you to
go from a previous kernel to the next newest kernel. I.E you cannot apply a 2.6.2
patch if you are running kernel 2.20.2.

You can take individual modules such as : as an example
I have a Wireless MA401 netgear PCMCIA NIC I am trying to get working.

Wireless Extensions (CONFIG_NET_RADIO enabled)

As I was saying you can take individual modules such as the one above and
compile it into your existing kernel so that you can get the wireless NIC to work.
Without having to update, or upgrade the kernel at anytime.

I am trying to understand the concepts on this so that I can start to help others
when they are having problems. Not to mention I want to be a Linux Admin some day.

Thanks for the replies everyone. You guys, and gals are the greatest.

Tony Mendoza
Old 02-14-2004, 12:29 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: N'rn WI -- USA
Distribution: Kubuntu 8.04, ClarkConnect 4
Posts: 1,142

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The patching is to upgrade the kernel sources. You then need to compile the source to make the kernel. Let's say you have 2.4.23 source on your system. They release kernel 2.4.24. You don't need to download the whole source, just the patch to the source. Saves a lot of downloading.

Patches are also incremental. If you have the source to 2.4.20, and you want to get to 2.4.24, you either download the whole source, or all the patches inbetween... .21, .22, .23, .24, and apply them in order. The patch always assumes you have the last version, and works from there, so things might be missing/different if you try to skip a couple.

Patches also only work on the major numbers... You can't patch your 2.4.x source to make it 2.6.x. It's just way too different.

I would assume using a module would be the same... Would only work on the same major numbers. You prob'ly can't take a module from 2.4.x and use it in 2.6.x.


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