Upgrading to the 2.6.13 Linux Kernel on Slackware 10.2

Category: Software and Systems Engineering
Author: Sean O'Donnell
Fri, Mar. 24th, 2006 @ 5:25:26 (MST)

I recently installed Slackware 10.2 with the basic 2.4.31 (vmlinuz) kernel on my ProStar Laptop.

Unfortunately, the drivers for my Intel Wireless Pro (2195) Adapter only support the >= 2.6.8 Linux kernel.

So, I'm pretty much forced to upgrade the kernel, which is a good thing really (I should have installed it to begin with anyhow!).

This example will help those who choose (or need) to upgrade after installing the 2.4.31 kernel.

Switch to the root user...

$ su

Insert the Slackware Linux 10.2 ISO CD #2, and mount it to your file system. (eg: /mnt/cdrom)

$ mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

Now that the Slackware CD (#2) is mounted, change directories to the 2.6.13 kernel directory.

$ cd /mnt/cdrom/linux-2.6.13/

Now we will install the generic 2.6.13 linux kernel package that was included with the Slackware 10.2 ISO CD (#2).

$ installpkg kernel-generic-2.6.13-i486-1.tgz

Next, we will install the 2.6.13 kernel modules that are also included on the Slackware 10.2 ISO CD (#2)...

$ installpkg kernel-modules-2.6.13-i486-1.tgz

You'll also want to install the source package.

$ installpkg kernel-source-2.6.13-noarch-1.tgz

We will also need to re-build the RAMDisk File System, which is used to load modules to the kernel during the boot process.

$ mkinitrd -c -k -f ext2 -r /dev/hda1

Note: I am using the ext2 file system on my /dev/hda1 partition, which is my root partition. If you are using ext3, or a root partition other than /dev/hda1, then simply modify the line above.

Now you'll need to edit your lilo configuration file (/etc/lilo.conf)

You can use your favorite text editor, I'll use vim, thank you. =p

$ vim /etc/lilo.conf

You'll want your lilo configuration to resemble the following settings (respective of your own environment)...

# /etc/lilo.conf
# custom linux 2.6.13 (upgraded) config for Slackware 10.2
# written by: Sean O'Donnell
boot = /dev/hda1
vga = 773
image = /boot/vmlinuz-generic-2.6.13
initrd = /boot/initrd.gz
root = /dev/hda1
label = Slackware Linux 10.2 (kernel 2.6.13)
read-only # Non-UMSDOS filesystems should be mounted read-only for checking

Once you have modified your lilo configuration (similar to the example above), you will want to reload lilo.

$ /sbin/lilo

If all is well, you should receive a message that says 'Added Linux-2.6.13'.

lilo should now be reloaded to use the 2.6.13 kernel.

Everything should be working now, with the exception of the old ALSA Sound Drivers still in use.

You can go ahead and reboot now, if you don't use ALSA.

If you do use ALSA, you can now install and configure using a package from the same directory on the CD.

$ installpkg alsa-driver-1.0.9b_2.6.13-i486-1.tgz
$ alsaconf

Now that the ALSA Sound Driver has been installed and configured, you can go ahead and reboot (if you haven't already!).

Now I can go ahead and install the drivers for my Intel Wireless Pro (2195) Adapter. =)

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