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Old 05-21-2008, 02:39 AM
Ken Teague
 
Default debian-installer: driver disk compatibility

Since Debian isn't really supported by most hardware vendors, it makes
it difficult to install the distribution when the kernel on the
installation media doesn't support, say, a RAID controller or the IDE
chipset... things of that nature. However, hardware vendors over the
years are starting to embrace and support some of the other major
distributions such as Red Hat, SuSE, and others.

What method does Debian have for someone to load a 3rd party module,
besides going to another VT and manually doing it? Would it be too much
to request that the Debian installer be adjusted to accept 3rd party
driver disks designed for other major distributions? For example, lets
say I have a new motherboard with a chipset that isn't supported by the
current Linux kernel on the Debian installation media. I go to said
manufacturers web site and they have downloads for Red Hat and SuSE. I
download either of the two, pop in the <cough>floppy disk</cough>, and
Debian is able to determine whether it's designed for distribution X and
loads the module. That, in itself, would be the next best thing since
the "alien" package. :-)

Best regards,
Ken Teague


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Old 05-21-2008, 02:51 AM
Roberto C. Sánchez
 
Default debian-installer: driver disk compatibility

On Tue, May 20, 2008 at 07:39:24PM -0700, Ken Teague wrote:
>
> For example, lets
> say I have a new motherboard with a chipset that isn't supported by the
> current Linux kernel on the Debian installation media. I go to said
> manufacturers web site and they have downloads for Red Hat and SuSE. I
> download either of the two, pop in the <cough>floppy disk</cough>, and
> Debian is able to determine whether it's designed for distribution X and
> loads the module. That, in itself, would be the next best thing since
> the "alien" package. :-)
>
The main problem with that is that it would require one of the
following:

1. the module be compiled against an ABI-compatible kernel

OR

2. the source be included on the disk, the headers to the kernel be
available on the install medium, along with a compiler, and then
compile the module right there on the spot

The first one is highly unlikely to happen. The second would be a pain
to implement and would probably require an extra CD and possible
redistributing how packages are distributed on the CDs. To say nothing
of the massive memory requirement (in comparison with the paltry 16 MB
or 24 MB requirement of the regular installer) that would be imposed to
be able to do that.

Regards,

-Roberto

--
Roberto C. Sánchez
http://people.connexer.com/~roberto
http://www.connexer.com
 

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