Kernel 2.6.28 Notes and Upgrade to Ext4

Normally you don’t update the kernel at every release unless hardware doesn’t work as expected or you really need the slight performance enhancements you may get from new kernel technologies. But… if you have a new module you need to add you may as-well.

A great site that posts about kernel upgrades is kernel newbies, you’ll need to understand the options for updating and while you’re at it you can upgrade to ext4 – don’t worry, it’s easy.

Dog the Kernel

So you don’t download upteen kernel source between kernel update you may as well just unmask the version you need:

echo “sys-kernel/gentoo-sources” >> /etc/portage/package.mask
echo “sys-kernel/gentoo-sources-2.6.28” >> /etc/portage/package.unmask

To have /usr/src/linux link to your the new kernel sources:

echo “sys-kernel/gentoo-sources symlink” >> /etc/portage/package.use

Emerge it:

emerge gentoo-sources
cd /usr/src/linux
cp /usr/src/linux-2.6.27-r2/.config .
make oldconfig

Here’s a few options answers:

If you want to find out if you BIOS is corrupted or if someone has been tampering with it:


2.6.28 can also Reserve low 64k of ram on AMI/Phoenix BIOS’s that as some developer that I lost a link to said, “This might as well solve a wide range of suspend/resume breakages under Linux.”


LRU List Y

Write ELF core dumps with partial segments N

Distrubuted Switch Architecture N

Phonet (for cellular phones) N

Integrated Circuits No

Voltage and Current Regulator Support No # Could be useful on laptops

PID device support No

# Say Y here if you have a PID-compliant device and wish to enable force feedback for it. Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback 2 is one of such devices.

Load all HID drivers… Yes

Extended 4 (ext4) filesystem (EXT4-FS) Y

Enable ext4dev compatibility N

Ext4 extended attributes (EXT4_FS_XATTR) N


CRC32C hardware acceleration N

People may have heard about the new GEM Memory Manager for GPU memory that can help improve draw-speeds dramtically. GEM is a modern GPU memory manager and is already built into the kernel so it doesn’t need configuring. Only the intel 915 driver has this support yet but others will eventually follow.

Now build and install the kernel:

make clean bzImage modules modules_install install

Edit /boot/grub/grub.conf to add the new kernel:

title Debian heh 2.6.28
root (hd0, e.g 4)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-gentoo-r2 root=/dev/

Rebuild the driver packages that attach to the kernel (tell me if has to be done after reinstalling, cause I forgot to do it :) ):

module-rebuild list
module-rebuild populate
module-rebuild rebuild

Upgrading to Ext4

Ext4 is the evolution of ext3 and provides tons of enhancements. Ext4 looks to be a real good modern filesystem. Linux is good.

Edit /etc/fstab and change filesystems from ext3 to ext4.

If you have a seperate boot partition, it’s best to leave it as ext2 or ext3. If /boot is part of your root filesystem, you’ll need to install a patched version of grub that understands ext4. In Gentoo versions of grub greater than 0.97-r9 have the patch built-in.

grub-install –no-floppy /dev/sda

Or whatever you hard-disk is.

Next you’ll need to boot from an installCD as converting partitions should not be done on mounted media. I used the Sabayon DVD. This step take like a nanosecond.

tune2fs -O extents,uninit_bg,dir_index /dev/device

And you’ll need to fsck to fix the nodes.

fsck -pf /dev/device

All is good in the world. Adio!

About Gen2ly

<3's linux

Posted on 2009-02-25, in Gentoo, Linux. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hi we build an ex4 gentoo liveCD. The CD is available under

    Have Fun

  2. Thanks for this entry.but I would like to know whether the reported regular fscking needed to fix the error shown by ext4 fs every week that the diskspace is fully occupied for the ext4 partition.I read it in Ubuntu forums to be exact.

    Nice blog.please continue your work.

  3. Unsure exactly what you’re referring to Praskash. I know that ext4 can set aside a good amount of space for journaling. Exactly to whatpost do you refer?

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