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Using the SLES9 kernel-update-tool to Update Kernel Modules

Overview

Novell's SLES 9 kernel-update-tool provides a method by which customers can automatically have updated kernel modules installed when they install a new kernel version. The following information explains how to automatically and/or manually trigger this SLES 9 kernel-module update process.

Definitions

Please see Driver Process Terminology.

How to Automatically Trigger the SLES 9 Kernel-Module Update Process

To automatically trigger the SLES 9 kernel-module update process, you must be installing a post-2.6.5-7.282 kernel from Novell. Only Novell's post-2.6.5-7.282 kernels have been "instrumented" to automatically trigger the kernel-module update process. Steps:

  1. The system should contain a previously installed a kernel-module package built in accordance with the document Kernel Module Packages Manual for CODE 9. Specifically, the kernel-module package should have installed kernel modules into the lib/modules/<running-kernel>/updates directory as well as a <package-name> file into the /var/lib/YaST2/download/ directory.. This kernel-module package should have installed kernel modules into the lib/modules/<running-kernel>/updates directory as well as a <package-name> file into the /var/lib/YaST2/download/ directory. Note: Only kernel-module packages built through the Driver Process will be updated using the kernel-module update process.
  2. Install all the latest patches (including the "YaST2 update for yast2-packagemanager and kernel-update-tool" patch). Patches can be retrieved manually from http://support.novell.com/linux/psdb.
  3. Use YaST Online Update (YOU) to install a post-2.6.5-7.282 kernel provided by Novell. All post-2.6.5-7.282 kernels will be "instrumented" to trigger the automatic kernel-module updater.
  4. The kernel installation will invoke the /usr/sbin/kernel-update-tool script (which was installed by the kernel-module-tool rpm). This script will
    1. Look for any kernel-modules in the /lib/module/<running-kernel>/updates directory.
    2. For each of these kernel modules, the script will:
      1. determine which package "owns" the module.
      2. read the update URL from the /var/lib/YaST2/download/<module-package-name> file
      3. access the URL to find an updated version of the package which matches the new kernel being installed.
      4. install the new package.

How to Manually Trigger the SLES 9 Kernel-Module Update Process

Anyone wishing to install kernels other than post-2.6.5-7.282 kernels from Novell can manually "trigger" the kernel-module update process. Steps:

  1. The system should contain a previously-installed kernel-module package built in accordance with the document Kernel Module Packages Manual for CODE 9. This kernel-module package should have installed its kernel modules into the lib/modules/<running-kernel>/updates directory as well as a <package-name> file into the /var/lib/YaST2/download/ directory. Note: Only kernel-module packages built through the Driver Process will be updated using the kernel-module update process.
  2. Install all the latest patches (including the "YaST2 update for yast2-packagemanager and kernel-update-tool" patch).
  3. Obtain the rpm package for the new kernel to be installed.
  4. Use the “/usr/sbin/kernel-update-tool –install <new-kernel-package>” command to install the new kernel.
  5. Before installing the new kernel, the kernel-update-tool script will:
    1. Look for any kernel-modules in the /lib/module/<running-kernel>/updates directory.
    2. For each of these kernel modules, the script will:
      1. determine which package "owns" the module.
      2. read the update URL from the /var/lib/YaST2/download/<module-package-name> file
      3. access the URL to find an updated version of the package which matches the new kernel being installed.
      4. install the new package.

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