debian-installer: driver disk compatibility - Debian

This is a discussion on debian-installer: driver disk compatibility - Debian ; 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 ...

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Thread: debian-installer: driver disk compatibility

  1. 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 floppy disk, 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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  2. Re: 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 floppy disk, 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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