netcurmudgeon (netcurmudgeon) wrote,

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Caveat copier...

Important safety tip: if you are copying Linux kernel modules from one machine to another make sure both machines are running the same version of the kernel!

I'm building a new web server. The RAID card I have is supported in Slackware 10.1, but booting with the "raid.s" kernel choice from the installation CD leaves you with broken IDE CD-ROM support. So, I slapped a SCSI CD-ROM in the box and hung it off of the Adaptec 2940UW card I had in there to run the DAT drive. The catch is that the "raid.s" kernel also lacks built-in support for non-RAID SCSI cards, like the AHA2940.

The solution is pretty straight forward. Go to a running system and tar the modules you need onto a diskette. Boot your new system from the install CD -- the system will be running a very minimal version of Linux in a RAM disk. Before launching the installer program, un-tar the files off the diskette into the right modules folder. Run insmod ("insert module") with the module name for the SCSI card et viola the installer can now see both your RAID card and the SCSI card with the CD-ROM drive. I've done it at work with our Dells -- it works great.

Except this time it wasn't working. Every time I ran insmod it came back with the unhelpful message "Can't locate module aic7xxx". But it's freakin' right there! I just put it there! After several minutes of bashing my head into the brick wall of the problem, it dawned on me that I might have two different versions of Linux in play. Sure enough, the Slackware 10.1 installation CD has a 2.4.29 kernel, and the "donor" system I was copying the module files from is running 2.4.20. Oops. I connected to a 2.4.29 system at work and snagged the files. All is well.
Tags: important safety tip, linux

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