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HOWTO: Fedora Core 1 with kernel 2.6

by Jorge Gallegos

By the time you are reading this, newer versions of the linux kernel will be available in the net, but this little step-by-step howto might be useful for you in any case.
Some of you may want to try this solution prior to compiling your own kernel from source, and this also may save you some headaches. All in all, this is a quick and fairly secure solution to taste how FC1 behaves with this new kernel version.
First of all, each time I say in this document "Modify x/y/z config file" I'm assuming you made a backup of the intended file before editing it. Why? because that's what you should do everytime you make any change to your system configuration. If I say "edit /etc/fstab" I'm assuming you made a copy in /etc/fstab.old or wherever you like, ok?, good.

This document focuses on the upgrading of the kernel using Arjanv's precompiled packages, I don't know if this will work using other RPMs but you can always try.

First, download the packages kernel, kernel-source and kernel-unsupported-modules from this location and save them to your disk.
Sudo and INSTALL them, do not upgrade (you want to be able to enter your system if something goes nasty, right?):

$ sudo rpm -ivh kernel*.rpm

Kernel v2.6 now uses a new filesystem, create a new mountpoint in / and add the proper line in /etc/fstab:

$ sudo mkdir /sys
$ sudo echo "none /sys sysfs defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab # Or use vi, nano, emacs...

Almost done, sometimes you got problems with the default initrd provided by the rpm, so you better rebuild it:

$ sudo mv /boot/initrd-2.6.0-1.1.103.img /root
$ cd /lib/modules
$ sudo /sbin/mkinitrd /boot/initrd-2.6.0-1.1.103.img 2.6.0-1.1.103/

Next thing you need to do is move your hwconf file:

$ sudo mv /etc/sysconfig/hwconf /root

Ensure that kudzu service is enabled to fire up at next boot, you can check this using the Service Configuration Tool (Main Menu->System Settings->Server Settings->Services or run serviceconf). Remember that the SCSI emulation for CD-RW is no longer needed in the new 2.6, so if you have a CD-RW drive in your computer, make the proper adjustments in either LILO or GRUB (and, additionally, use a proper CD-Record tool with IDE support).
After this you are all set, reboot your computer and at the LILO/Grub prompt, select the entry for Fedora Core (2.6.0-1.1.103) and if nothing goes nasty during the hardware detection process, you'll be using your FC1 box with kernel 2.6 in no time.

Almost all of this was consulting the wiki about Fedora (which now seems unavailable, if you know where they have gone to, send me an email) here, and I got the initrd tip from this thread.

Another change in 2.6 against 2.4 and earlier versions is that now ALSA is being used as default sound driver. You can download the drivers (alsa-driver, alsa-lib, alsa-lib-devel and alsa-utils) from the ALSA project, for configuring ALSA I recommend you using the alsaconf program provided by those packages.

All this process is being done "the sudo way" in order to keep the security risk at minimum, if you do not know about sudo, sudoers file or anything, you can always check the sudo man page or check this howto, and grasp a basic idea about sudo.

By now Arjanv has the 2.6.1 RPM kernel in this address, I haven't tested them yet, but I guess it will be pretty much the same process described here.

*UPDATE: As of 2004-01-14

Kernel 2.6 now uses the file /etc/modprobe.conf instead of /etc/modules.conf, if you activated the kudzu service and moved/deleted/renamed your /etc/sysconfig/hwconf it should've been created.
One issue that you might encounter is that the USB Human Interface module has changed in 2.6, it is called uhci-hcd instead of usb-uhci, so you may need to modify your /etc/modprobe.conf

alias usb-controller uhci-hcd
or add the hardcoded entry in your /etc/rc.sysinit for modprobing uhci-hcd (thanks to Frank Merenda for this).
Other modules that changed: "keybdev" into "usbkbd" and "mousedev" into "usbmouse".

*UPDATE: As of 2004-01-16

This process is reliable for joe-user machines, I mean, if you use LVM or other things that are a little uncommon, you can download the update packages from the same location you downloaded the kernel packages, but I cannot assure that they will function, as I haven't tested them (Thanks to David Brownlee for pointing this out).