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Kernel

The default version of openSuSE's kernel is 2.6.18. This has a number of problems with the Fujitsu P1610. Often it freezes during boot-up, I think due to some problem when identifying USB devices. 2.6.18 comes with ALSA 1.0.13, which does not work fully with P1610's soundcard. Newer versions of the kernel can be found in OpenSuSE repositories.

At the time of writing, I have installed kernel 2.6.21-185, although 2.6.22 release candidates are available. 2.6.21-185 and 2.6.22 release candidates include ALSA 1.0.14. You might want to download kernel-default, kernel-syms and kernel-source. Sometimes the same version of each of those packages is not available at the same time e.g. there might be version 2.6.21-87 of kernel-default and version 2.6.21-104 of kernel-source. I would advise only downloading if the same version of all three packages is available. Otherwise, if you try to compile software when using 2.6.21-87 of kernel-default, the compiler is likely to complain that the source code for 2.6.21-87 is not available.

Newer versions of the kernel require updated versions of AppArmor (apparmor-utils, apparmor-parser, apparmor-profiles etc.) and I think perl-Bootloader as well. Newer versions of these packages are available in openSuSE. Use pbone, search for `apparmor*' with the `new look RPM' search.

When you install a 2.6.21 kernel, you most likely do not want to remove the default 2.6.18 kernel! After all, the 2.6.21 kernels in the SuSE repositories are best considered `experimental'. So instead of using...

rpm -Uvh kernel-default-2.6.21-87.1
...I would use...

rpm -ivh kernel-default-2.6.21-87.1
rpm does not complain, except when installing `kernel-source', when there is a partial conflict with the 2.6.18 version of kernel-source. Just use the `-force' option! rpm will automatically add an option to boot from the 2.6.21 kernel with GRUB, but you may want to fine-tune the boot options with YaST.

I find the 2.6.21 kernel faster than 2.6.18, but some people say that is only because of failure to (personally) optimise the 2.6.18 kernel in the first place. I think only a minority of SuSE users would ever bother to install `experimental' kernels, let alone tinker with the kernel after installation...

Unfortunately, upgrading the kernel to 2.6.21 invalidates the wlan-kmp-default package, which provides the kernel module for the ipw3945 wireless card. I needed to recompile the module for the ipw3945, this is described elsewhere[*].


next up previous Link to 'computer' page
Next: Zen Up: System software Previous: libdvdcss (using `encoded' DVDs)
David Fong 2011-01-25