Wednesday, April 12, 2006

New Kernel Landed


Yesterday i downloaded the latest stable kernel available, kernel 2.6.16.2 and some other packages (Liferea, Opera, xCHM, NVidia Driver, and Gaim 2.0 Beta 3). I tried to update my system to the latest packages available, so i downloaded those packages. My biggest concern was about the new NVidia driver, because the previous version (1.0-8178) was having some problems with kernel 2.6.16+, so we have to apply some patches that was available from NVNews Forum. The patches are working and i have tried that on my own system. It's more than four months since the release of the last NVidia driver, so this release is worthed to look and analyse as it said that it has fixed some problem with kernel 2.6.x.

At first i boot into my system and try to update the small packages first while extracting the kernel source into /usr/src and update the symlink (/usr/src/linux pointing to /usr/src/linux-2.6.16.2 and /usr/include/asm-generic pointing to /usr/src/linux-2.6.16.2/include/asm-generic). After updating my other packages, i started compiling the kernel image and also the modules as usuall. When it finished, i start copying to /boot partition and make some additional changes by updating the symlink of System.map, config, and also vmlinuz. Next, i edit my lilo.conf to reflect the changes in /boot and finally executing /sbin/lilo -v to make the changes in lilo.conf becomes permanent. Then i execute reboot command to reboot the system and boot to new kernel.

I use some parameter to boot into text mode. This is needed when you want to install NVidia driver, since it requires no XServer are running. So far so good. The kernel boots up perfectly and i ran ldconfig to update my library's cache. After that, i tried to install the new NVidia driver and it went smoothly, without errors. I tried the installation by executing startx to test it and it worked great. Next, i reboot my system and this time i boot the new kernel without any parameter to automatically load the graphical environment (i'm using KDE 3.5.2, the latest version for now). Yes, it loads without any problem and here are the screenshot of my new kernel with the result of glxgears, some utility to test your FPS (Frame Per Second) in your system (i know some people in LinuxQuestion mention about GLOBS to benchmark the VGA card, but i haven't download it yet, so glxgear is enough for me, as i don't need high output as long as 3D features are enabled that's enough for me). You may notice that the result was slower in my system, that's natural, since these screenshot was taken from my laptop, not my desktop, so the VGA card capability will not as powerfull as desktop (i'm using NVidia GeForce Go 6200 with 128 MB).