Wednesday, April 12, 2006

kernel module packages

Last week , while testing KPowersave on Kubuntu to force UpstreamVersionFreeze Exception process, I tested a LG M1 Express Dual as first with SUSE 10.1 Beta9, but it was a pain to install on this machine. I couldn't start installation via SLP: the kernel doesn't support the network card, USB and cardbus tulip network card also not worked. At the end I used a DVD to install the laptop.

After installation, in the running system the network worked via the usb docking station (also if KNetworkManager alway try to use COM1 instead of the correct networkinterface and I need to switch this always manually) but not correct via a Tulip cardbus card. I need pci=assigned_busses as kernel parameter and the card must be inserted before the yenta_socket kernel module is loaded. But also in this case the tulip module is not loaded automatically.

Btw. the onboard networkcard is not supported by the kernel. It's a Agere Systems ET1310 ethernet card. There was a patch (from a Agere developer as it looks) available e.g. on dadams1969.googlepages.com to add kernel support. I tested the module on the machine and it worked. But I needed to add some little fixes to get the patch compile. While testing I recognised that the module generate random mac addresses. Looks as if the first read from the EEPROM, to get the mac of the hardware, fail and instead of try again it generates a random address. With a little workaround (read directly two times from the EEPROM) I get the correct address.

Because it's not really a good idea to compile each time while BETA testing, after each kernel update or new installaation I made a et131-KMP package. Thanks to Andreas Gruenbacher for the help to get the package build. It's not available via factory tree at the moment. But If you need this package you can download it (without any support or guaranty) here. I hope Agere fix the module and try to get this in the linux kernel.

I also added a omnibook-KMP package to the factory tree. I should allow a lot of machines e.g. to get support for brightness change. For more information about the supported Laptops (HP Omnibook and Pavilion, Toshiba Satellite and some FSC, Compal, Acer and Compaq) and the features see the sf.net
omke project page. I already added support for the module to powersave. The package should be on the media of RC1 and SUSE Linux 10.1/SLES 10/SLED 10.

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