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Not that I need or want to do this, but I got to wondering... Is there a practical limit to how new a kernel you can use with how old ...
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  1. #1
    Trusted Penguin Dapper Dan's Avatar
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    Really new kernels on really old distro versions?


    Not that I need or want to do this, but I got to wondering...

    Is there a practical limit to how new a kernel you can use with how old a distro? I realize a lot of drivers and things get deprecated over time, but for instance, could you run Mandrake 8.2 with a 2.6.16 kernel? Has anyone had the experience of running a really new kernel on a really old distro version?
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    Linux Guru dylunio's Avatar
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    I don't see why this wouldn't work, though things like modules and maybe a few other things might break.

    I've managed to boot Slackware 10.0 (not old I know) with both the 2.4.* kernel and the 2.6.* kernel. If you change the kernel in something like an old mandrake I don't see much difference to changing the kernels in Slack.

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    Trusted Penguin Dapper Dan's Avatar
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    I have Redhat 6 lying around somewhere. Just for the fun of it, (and all the new things I'm sure I will learn!) I might see if I can get a 2.6 kernel running with it. Should be interesting.
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    Linux Guru dylunio's Avatar
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    Have fun Dapper Dan
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    Linux Guru antidrugue's Avatar
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    As long as your distro respect the "Current Minimal Requirements" as stated in <linux-source>/Documentation/Changes, it should be working.
    "To express yourself in freedom, you must die to everything of yesterday. From the 'old', you derive security; from the 'new', you gain the flow."

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    Linux Engineer Zelmo's Avatar
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    I wouldn't expect any problems, as long as you compile the modules at the same time. As far as I'm aware, nothing else cares what version the kernel is. That's one thing I really like about Linux--everything can be updated independently, and on an ongoing basis, so there's never a need for a re-install or a whole-system upgrade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dapper Dan
    I have Redhat 6 lying around somewhere. Just for the fun of it, (and all the new things I'm sure I will learn!) I might see if I can get a 2.6 kernel running with it. Should be interesting.
    I have just had a 2.6.12 kernel running redhat 6.1; however, it was accidental, and due to unsolved weird behavior between lilo and the kernel (it should boot debian on root=hdb9, but boots redhat on root=hda9)! I'm sure one can do a lot better intentionally, with a properly compiled kernel.

    In this case, of course, there's lots of messages about incorrect kernel, map, obsolete system calls, etc, and X fails to run, the system gets to run level 3, and after various stumbles it becomes possible to log in on the tty console. I've got a pretty complete log grep'd out of the kernel messages now for a most unusual boot; here's a a few selections (a little while later, the message "Welcome to RedHat" show up, but that's not logged):

    Apr 25 01:27:15 linus kernel: [4294667.296000] Linux version 2.6.12-10-386 (buil
    dd@terranova) (gcc version 3.4.5 20050809 (prerelease) (Ubuntu 3.4.4-6ubuntu8.1)
    ) #1 Sat Mar 11 16:13:17 UTC 2006

    And, the kernel got the right root passed by lilo (349 = hdb9) :

    Apr 25 01:27:15 linus kernel: [4294667.296000] Kernel command line: BOOT_IMAGE=ub2612 ro root=349.

    a few selected error lines:

    Apr 25 01:27:15 linus kernel: Inspecting /boot/System.map

    Apr 25 01:27:15 linus kernel: Cannot find map file.

    Apr 25 01:27:16 linus kernel: [ 60.737338] device-mapper: 4.4.0-ioctl (2005-01-12) initialised: dm-devel@redhat.com

    Apr 25 01:27:41 linus cups: Warning: /boot/System.map has an incorrect kernel version.
    Apr 25 01:27:41 linus cups: Warning: /usr/src/linux/System.map has an incorrect kernel version.

    Cheers!

    Johnpipe

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