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We have the need to install an older Linux distribution (Suse 10) on a brand new laptop. The kernel that comes with Suse 10 doesn't have new enough drivers for the NIC and the drive controller. We've been able to find the source code for the NIC and build a working NIC kernel module however, we can not find the source code for the drive controller outside the kernel tree. Newer kernels see the drive fine; the controller is the Intel ATA_PIIX. Its included in the kernel, the hardware we have it just newer than the version in the old suse 10 kernel supports.

I've crawled all over the intel site looking for the code outside the kernel source and have been unable to do so. Is it possible to lift the code from a newer kernel source tree? Is it available for download anywhere?

Edit: (from a comment below)


SLED-10-SP2-x86 is the OS. The installation of these systems in an automated process, trying to change the process to include a VM (if we had the memory) or install a different base OS; while doable- can't be done in the time allowed. To get through process development, testing, UAT, staging and deployment takes much longer than the time we have. The old laptop had this same issue and the fix by my predecessor was building the NIC and drive modules by hand. We need to simply update those modules for this new laptop

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migrated from serverfault.com Jun 10 '11 at 13:13

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

    
LOL, why migrate here and not to unix.stackexchange.com? –  Let_Me_Be Jun 10 '11 at 13:20
    
@let_me_be unix.stackexchange.com/questions/14710/… –  tMC Jun 10 '11 at 13:21
    
Why do you need to install such an old release? –  Let_Me_Be Jun 10 '11 at 13:22
    
That is what this application platform is built on. The old laptop model is no longer available and this new one is it replacement. Re-engineering the platform on a new OS is not an option with the time allowed for this project. –  tMC Jun 10 '11 at 13:29
    
@tMC Wow, how was that achieved? It would take huge amount of work to make something compatible with just one version of one distribution. Btw. I agree with the virtualization option (and I think it is the only one). –  Let_Me_Be Jun 10 '11 at 13:38

4 Answers 4

Is virtualization an option? You could always install the newest Suse and then run the Suse 10 as a KVM guest. That may or may not work for your application though depending on how critical it is that it's running on native hardware.

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+1 Virtualization is almost certainly your best bet. The emulated hardware is usually fairly generic and should run pretty well. Making new hardware go in old distros is simply not something you want to mess with! –  Caleb Jun 10 '11 at 13:16
    
I'd thought about that; it might be but with the time constraints on delivery, it might be to complicated to re-engineer the automated build process to include setting up a VM. Also, the app that has to run is a GUI app. I know nothing about the GUI performance of VMs? –  tMC Jun 10 '11 at 13:18
    
GUI performance of VMs is fine, as long as you have enough memory. Plus: if you deploy this as a VM, you can basically ship the disk image file. Makes installation a snip (since you are effectively not installing anything). –  wolfgangsz Jun 10 '11 at 13:39
    
We don't have enough memory. These machines were not spec'd to run VMs –  tMC Jun 10 '11 at 13:41
    
In the big scheme of things ram is really cheap. Also if it's a VM that you need to interact with the GUI for then I would recommend VirtualBox over KVM. KVM will also work for GUI you just use VNC or possibly SPICE but that's still pretty new. But it's also easier to pass things like USB thumb drives to a VirtualBox VM. It's just made with Desktop integration in mind more than KVM is. –  3dinfluence Jun 10 '11 at 14:04

Then the answer to your question is: http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v2.6/ I believe SuSE/Novell should make the source for SLED 10 kernel available, however I cannot find it after a brief look.

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I think virt is a still a better option, (as is not making an application so dependant on OS version) however is SuSE (desktop? Enterprise?) 10 with a recent service pack an option? From what little I recall of SuSE (circa v9) its installation routine for anything after the 'base' version was a little... byzantine, however I believe it still gave one a more recent kernel if you installed the more recent service pack from the beginning.

(This might of course all be different with v10...)

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SLED-10-SP2-x86. The installation of these systems in an automated process, trying to change the process to include a VM (if we had the memory) or install a different base OS; while doable- can't be done in the time allowed. To get through process development, testing, UAT, staging and deployment takes much longer than the time we have. The old laptop had this same issue and the fix by my predecessor was building the NIC and drive modules by hand. We need to simply update those modules for this new laptop. –  tMC Jun 10 '11 at 15:21

I ended up running the old Suse 10 environment inside a chroot on the new Suse 12 install.

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