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Old 06-28-2020, 09:25 PM   #1
Registered: Mar 2009
Distribution: Slackware,Linux From Scratch
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Slackware 64 Current: upgrading just the kernel

Right now I've got a comfy Slackware install, which I installed in March. All of the programs I like are in and working. Wine is running some programs that it was never able to run before: I am even able to run a few games (real games, full-on 3d games, not minesweeper). This may be the best Linux install ever!

There are two problems (which may or may not be one problem). One: lid close then open freezes the computer. Two: randomly, tapping a key to turn the screen on after being away from the keyboard causes an immediate reboot.

I'm thinking this is caused by some kernel and/or firmware bug, because I've used different Linux installs (and a windows install) on this same computer without this problem.

Since my current install is otherwise so perfectly tuned, I don't want to upgrade anything except for the kernel & firmware.

My idea is to upgrade *just* the kernel and firmware. In the past, I did this by one of two methods. One: grab a newer kernel source and rebuild the kernel & modules. Two: a fresh install of a newer version of the operating system.

The odd thing is, while I know how to compile a kernel, I don't how to upgrade a pre-compiled kernel within Slackware. Also I do not know the exact packages needed to upgrade using the Slackware packages!

Near as I can tell, if I manually get the latest Current of only the following packages, I should be able to install them, without touching the existing kernel, modules & firmware:
  • kernel-firmware
  • kernel-generic
  • kernel-huge
  • kernel-modules
  • kernel-source

The source probably isn't needed, I don't know for sure. I realize that I do not need both huge and generic. I normally use generic ... but I like the idea of having huge as a fallback. I don't need to upgrade kernel headers.

So my actual question is: is simply grabbing and installing those packages (from Current), generating the new initrd and then updating lilo going to achieve my goal of a new kernel in a March install of Slackware?

Thank you.
Old 06-28-2020, 10:03 PM   #2
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Registered: Feb 2007
Distribution: Slackware64-current with "True Multilib."
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It should.

You would want,
if you need it.

Then run, installpkg
on the first five and
upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new
on the firmware update.

In /boot, run, mkinitrd (add your options)
if you are going to use the generic kernel.

Then edit your /etc/lilo.conf
run, lilo
and reboot.

You may have to reinstall your graphics driver and VirtualBox.

If you build any packages you may need both the headers and the source.

By using, installpkg
your new kernel can happily co-exist with your old kernel.
If you duplicate the entries for your old kernel in your lilo.conf for your new kernel, with the appropriate changes, of course, you will be able to choose, at boot up, your new kernel or your old kernel. If something goes wrong with the new kernel installation, you can always boot the old kernel and still have a working computer while you sort out the problem.

Last edited by cwizardone; 06-28-2020 at 10:30 PM.
Old 06-28-2020, 10:55 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2019
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 27

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It should; there's about five different kernels in my lilo from previous upgrades, just in case something broke. There's no need to purge the old ones, they don't take up much space anyway.
Doesn't compiling some things break if your headers aren't the same version though?

Last edited by RedBlueYellow12; 06-28-2020 at 10:57 PM.
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