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Old 12th November 2008, 02:23 PM
Linuxone66 Offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4
Question Why no drivers for older kernels?

Hi all, I would just like to start by saying that I like the fedora distro. I haven't used it much until now and Im sad to say that I think I will have to forgo using it even more due to one small problem.

I cant get 3d working without upgrading the kernel and breaking something else. Let me explain the full story

I have a laptop that is only fairly new (6 weeks) and it has newish hardware in it (more on what it is and whats inside later)
when I first installed fedora 9 I was surprised and amazed to find that everything worked straight away (including my built in tv card and sd card reader) great I thought only one thing to do and that is install the nvidia drivers to have everything the way I like it I tried to install the drivers using the instructions from firewing (great work by the way mate) only to be told by yum that It needs the new kernel (2.6.26-something) ok I thought no probs go for it. unfortunately the new kernel would not allow my wireless card to work but I did have 3d graphics ok I thought Ill look around for a fix for the wireless and off we go and I did find one by updating the kernel again to one in the rawhide repo (2.6.27-something) and yes it did fix my wireless but in the mean time it broke my sound.

see a loop starting to appear yet?

Now all of this would have been avoided if I had been able to install an nvidia driver for my original kernel (2.6.25-something), I would then have been very happy to use fedora but it seems that all of the repos I've been directed to, insist on updating the kernel to get the nvidia drivers and the breaking of other things happens all over again.

After 4 days of chasing the kernel/hardware tail I've had enough.
I am going to list my laptop and its hardware and what I've done to get it all going and if anyone can think of something else then I am willing to stick it out but I refuse to keep going on this roundabout for much longer.

My hardware is

Laptop = NEC versa p9120 ( it seems it is a re-badged MSI GX700)
NVIDIA Geforce GO 8600M G 512
Toshiba Bluetooth MS6855C WLAN/BT & MS6837D BT card
PRO-NETS TV Tuner Hybrid
O2Micro Card Reader
Realtek PCI-E Ethernet
Realtek High Definition Audio
Bison Webcam
Intel 4965 AGN WLAN Card
Agere Systems HDA Modem Drivers

2Gb Ram
200 Gb Hdd (originally with Vista but now has XP and Fedora at the moment)
17" LCD
Blue-ray Disc
Centrino Duo CPU

Ok now for what I've tried

Installed fedora 9 and updated entire distro (including kernel)
Installed fedora 9 and updated entire distro (excluding kernel) once I figured out how
Installed fedora 9 and not updated
Installed fedora 8 and updated entire distro (excluding kernel)
Installed fedora 8 and updated entire distro (including kernel)
Installed fedora 8 and not updated

Along with each of these I have enabled the livna/RPMFusion repo's to get the drivers from.

So I have three questions to ask
1) I would like to know why I HAVE to upgrade my kernel to get the drivers?

2) Why can't I have a driver for my slightly older kernel?

3) Is it that difficult to have the option?

Now I guess I could just download the drivers from Nvidia's site and do the install myself but then I thought that the "auto" installers/repos were to stop us having to do that as well as to help in not breaking our systems.

And I guess I could also go and get a kernel and build it myself but again isn't that what the installers/repo's are for as well?

I'm not bagging the effort that has been undertaken by the development team, in fact I think more of us donate so these guys have more incentive, and I hope they see this for what I intend it to be, an informative and unbiased opinion.

It comes down to this I guess - If I (and others) don't say anything then nothing will change.

I would also like to add that I'm not a dummy or a noob when it comes to computers as I have been a tech as employment and as my own business for over 20 years now
I have been using various flavours of Linux for the last 4 years and have completed various courses in both M$ and Linux software.

Now once again I'm not trying to put anybody down but trying to explain where the frustration comes from and to ask why I HAVE to upgrade the kernel for the graphics card to work?

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Old 12th November 2008, 02:43 PM
woelfman10 Offline
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 76
Hi Linuxone66,

If you want to stick with a particular kernel release, that shouldn't be a problem. If you're trying to install kmod-nvidia, that's a meta package for the nvidia driver supporting the latest available kernel. You can specify a particular kmod-nvidia, such as kmod-nvidia-

Assuming you're using the GUI to find packages, there's an option "only show latest packages" (or something to that effect) that you need to uncheck. You should be able to find a driver for your particular kernel release.

Another option is to use the akmod-nvidia package, which will allow you to build the driver yourself for your exact kernel.


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Old 12th November 2008, 03:10 PM
Linuxone66 Offline
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4
Hi Woelfman,

Yeh I tried un-checking the "only show latest packages" box but that didn't seem to help, once I had done this and then looked for a driver for my kernel there was none, which in turn meant upgrading the kernel
and with the akmod packages they would work but again they insisted on updating the kernel even though from what I can gather they are not meant too.

When I say I tried these methods I mean I actually went all the way through the process with them, selecting the packages I wanted and then just letting it do its thing, and every time it still updated the kernel no matter what.

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Old 12th November 2008, 05:11 PM
nick.stumpos Offline
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lansing, Mi
Age: 32
Posts: 2,222
just use the driver from nvidia page, it will compile for whatever kernel your running, so just boot the kernel you want to run. make sure you have the correct kernel headers, stop X and run the nvidia installer. im sure you can get the kmod version src and compile it for yourself too if you want their libraries instead of the nvidia ones.
As always
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Old 13th November 2008, 02:24 PM
Linuxone66 Offline
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 4

Yes I have "reverted" to that method but in all honesty this sort of thing is what the repo's and "package managers" are for aren't they?

My problem is solved and Im not trying to start a war of opinions here, but again if I and others don't say anything, nothing will change. that at least is one beauty (among many others) of the open source community, the openness for people to have a difference of opinion

Cheers all
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