Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Kernel upgrade

For some time I had been trying to upgrade the kernel on my Gentoo box from 2.6.29 to 2.6.30. I was interested in 2.6.30 kernel because of three reasons.

#1 From what I remembered from the experiements with sreadahead, this kernel was supposed to support it well. However, recently when I dug into the topic, Jeremy told me that it is very much a dead project now. I still have baselayout2 and openRC to tinker with to obtain boot speed improvements.

#2 I had a secondary LAN port installed. So, I had to configure my kernel for that. I decided that since a new kernel is available, I shall install the driver and the kernel too.

#3 This kernel supports LZMA compression. I was interested in trying it out.

I compiled the kernel fine, editted grub.conf and rebooted into my experiemental kernel. During the boot, I could clearly see that sreadahead was a dead project. It took me straight to kdm screen. However, after kdm the system froze.

My first idea was to check the command line. So, I restarted and from kdm went to command line. Invoking the following, I found that the driver for the LAN interface was fine.
lspci -k
I was clueless as to what went wrong. I thought I might need to build xorg-server, input drivers and video drivers against my new kernel. So, I ran the following command.
emerge -v xorg-server xf86-video-intel xf86-input-evdev
After that once again, I tried to get back to GUI using. However the system froze again. I thought lets get some help. Checking on #gentoo, I was suggested to try what I had done as explained above. I kept looking at IRC for four days without any solution to my problem. Then, thinking my KDE might be having issues, I tried at #gentoo-kde where Aleister suggested I might have enabled KMS and using xorg-server 1.5 at the same time. My X server log file at
was reporting fatal server error. Checking my menuconfig, I found that he was right. Disabling that option, I was able to do away with system freezes. All I lost was the two penguins that appeared during boot. The problem was xorg-server 1.5 does not support kernel mode setting (KMS).

1 comment:

Phoenix said...

P.S. - xorg-server-1.6, which is now in stable tree, has no such KMS issues.