Installing new kernels

The aptosid kernels are in the aptosid repo as a .deb and automatically included in a dist-upgrade.

The kernels are available in the following forms:

Steps to do it manually without dist-upgrading are:

1. In a konsole switch to root:

apt-get update

2. To install the latest version kernel:

apt-get install linux-image-aptosid-686 linux-headers-aptosid-686

Reboot to use the new kernel

Should the new kernel give you problems, you can reboot and choose an older kernel.


To find which modules you need, the following command gives you the list of current available modules, copy this line to your console/terminal:

apt-cache search 2.6.*.slh.*-aptosid| awk '/modules/{print $1}'

To get a full description of each module, copy this line to your console/terminal:

apt-cache search 2.6.*.slh.*-aptosid

To install the required modules (for instance virtualbox-ose, and qc-usb):

apt-get install virtualbox-ose-modules-2.6.24- (EXAMPLE)
apt-get install qc-usb-modules-2.6.24- (EXAMPLE)

To check the modules loaded into the kernel:

ls /sys/module/
cat /proc/modules

Installing modules with Dynamic Module-Assistant Kernel Module Support (dmakms)

dmakms is useful to install kernel modules that are not premade for the aptosid kernel and is designed to automate the installation of kernel modules with module-assistant (m-a) when upgrading or installing new Linux kernels.

apt-get install dmakms module-assistant

Before activating Dynamic Module-Assistant Kernel Module Support, first use module-assistant to install the desired kernel module(s) for the currently running Linux kernel. For more information on module-assistant please read its manual page:

man m-a

The name of the module-assistant compatible package then needs to be added to /etc/default/dmakms, so that the process of preparing and installing the same module(s) for each new Linux kernel can be automated.

Example: Installing speakup module with module-assistant

Ensure that your sources list has contrib non-free added in your sources line in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian.list

apt-cache search speakup-s
speakup-source - Source of the speakup kernel modules

Then prepare the module:

m-a prepare
m-a a-i speakup-source

Then activate Dynamic Module-Assistant Kernel Module Support for speakup, so that the next time the Linux kernel is updated a speakup module is prepared for it too, without manual intervention. To do that, add speakup-source to the /etc/default/dmakms configuration file.

mcedit /etc/default/dmakms

Repeat the same process for any other module-assistant compatible kernel module package.

A linux-headers package must be installed for every linux-image package for module-assistant to compile kernel modules.

Module load failure

Should the module fail to load, for whatever reason [new xorg component, a fs problem or if X doesnt start after reboot] :

modprobe <module>

Then reboot the computer.

Should the module still fail to load:

 m-a a-i -f module-source

This rebuilds the module then reboot.

How It Works

Dynamic Module-Assistant Kernel Module Support consists of a single initscript (/etc/init.d/dmakms) that is executed at boot time or by a script that is triggered after installation of new linux-image Debian packages.

On each boot, /etc/init.d/dmakms is run to discover if each module source package listed in /etc/default/dmakms has provided a module package for the running Linux kernel, calling module-assistant to build and install a module package as required.

When a new linux-image Debian package is installed, /etc/init.d/dmakms is executed via a postinst hook script with two arguments, 'start' and the 'version string' of the Linux kernel to prepare new module package(s) for. At this time, the module packages listed in the /etc/default/dmakms configuration file are processed with module-assitant, and derived module packages are scheduled for installation at shutdown time. The reason for installation to occur at shutdown time is because it is necessary to delay the installation until such a time that apt/dpkg are not locked by another process.

$ /usr/share/doc/dmakms

Removing old kernels, kernel remover

After successful installation of the new kernel, the old kernels can be deleted, however its recommended that you keep them for a few days in case you strike problems and therefore boot to an older kernel as listed in the grub screen

Old kernels can be removed from the system. To do so, install kernel-remover:

apt-get update
apt-get install kernel-remover
Content last revised 15/09/2010 1025 UTC