Kernel 2.6.30.1 Firmware Issues…


Upfront disclaimer:  I am not saying this is a particular issue with the 2.6.30.1 kernel, instead I am saying I ran into this problem for the first time while trying to install this version.  It appears that many others have had this same problem over a wide range of kernel versions, all vanilla/custom-rolled, and not all confined to Debian/Ubuntu systems.  I did not have this problem when installing 2.6.30 on a laptop earlier.

The story:

The system I installed this kernel version on is a 32-bit Athlon XP.  Plenty of RAM and disk space.  What I ran into was that upon running dpkg -i linux-image-2.6.30.1_xxx, it would fail with an error about being unable to overwrite /lib/firmware/xxx.

I tried renaming the offending file, but that made no difference.  I tried removing that firmware from the kernel config (via make menuconfig), and it only caused the failure on another firmware blob in a different firmware directory.

Searching online yielded lots of posts, old and new, about this exact issue, but the only solution has seemed to be to use the --force-overwrite option with dpkg.  I did this, and was able to install the kernel image.  I had no problem with the kernel header package.

In short, if you have this problem and have no other solution, accept the risk, etc., etc., then try dpkg -i --force-overwrite linux-image-2.6.30.1_xxxx.deb.

YMMV.

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