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xahodo
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Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 16
Location: Gouda, the Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:02 pm    Post subject: Need some help figuring out kernel hardware configuration Reply with quote

I'm in the process of installing Gentoo and, while I have completed a Gentoo install in the past, I currently find that configuring the kernel has become quite challenging.

Thing is, I have a laptop (Acer aspire 7750G) of which I know very little. There's an Atheros wifi chepset, RadeonHD 6650M and an Intel C200 chipset in that thing (according to lspci). But beyond that there's little information I succeeded in obtaining.

Last time I configured a kernel of my own was in 2011 on a different (older) machine. Now I find myself wondering even how to configure my CPU! (Sandy Bridge Core I7)

Are there any good resources out there that can help me figure out exactly what (kind of) hardware there is in my computer and how to configure the kernel?

I asked the same question over here (among some others), but feel that I didn't get a complete answer and the Gentoo crowd over there isn't that large.

Can anyone help me?
- lspci provided some information, but not everything I needed.
- lsmod provided a huuuuuge list of modules, most of which appear not to be of use to my system. Do unused modules stick around in RAM or are they removed from the module list if their respective hardware is not found?
- How do I deal with binary firmware blobs? The radeon needs some firmware (Solus Linux (which functions fine on that laptop) told me it's of the "Turks" family, while gentoo minimal install usb says it's a "Whistler").
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charles17
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Joined: 02 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

  • Create a bootable USB stick with sysresccd
  • boot your computer from the USB stick
  • run lspci -nnkv and save the output somewhere
  • run lshw and save the output somewhere
  • run lsusb and save the output somewhere
  • run usb-devices and save the output somewhere
In the several outputs you saved, check every occurance of the word driver
You should then have a collection similar to this one.

For single drivers or other settings you cannot find in make menuconfig come here and ask.
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mrbassie
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Joined: 31 May 2013
Posts: 551

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may not be the answer you want but if I were you I would just run genkernel to get a bootable system and then configure a custom kernel through trial and error (read the help in menuconfig).

This is a little old but still useful, provided by community member pappy_mcfae: http://www.elilabs.com/~pappy/
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Goverp
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Joined: 07 Mar 2007
Posts: 695

PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another way: plug in ALL the kit you might want to use with it, boot up with a generic kernel that's totally modular (e.g. I guess from the latest install disks), change to the kernel source directory and run
Code:
make localmodconfig
   or
make localyesconfig
according to taste. That looks at which modules you actually use, and creates a config theat either removes the others, or changes them to be installed rather than modules.
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PrSo
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Joined: 01 Jun 2017
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't want extra modules but only truly used one, as charles17 sad boot-up with SystemRescueCD as installation media, run
Code:
lspci -nnk > devices_pci.txt
for pci's,
Code:
lsudb > devices_usb.txt
for usb's.
The most important are those 8 digits ie:
Code:
00:10.0 USB controller [0c03]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH USB XHCI Controller [1022:7814] (rev 11)
        Subsystem: Lenovo FCH USB XHCI Controller [17aa:3801]

Then get the Linux kernel database file appropriate for yours kernel version https://cateee.net/sources/lkddb/, and check manually what driver is needed for your hardware. You will find it by those 8-digit numbers - [1022:7814] or [17aa:3801] as I provided them in exaple.
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C5ace
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Joined: 23 Dec 2013
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Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Install sys-apps/hwinfo.

Plug in and power on all your hardware and run as root 'hwinfo | less' or 'hwinfo > hwinfo.txt'. This will give you all available information about your hardware.
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charles17
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Joined: 02 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PrSo wrote:
Code:
lsudb > devices_usb.txt
for usb's.
The most important are those 8 digits ie:
Code:
00:10.0 USB controller [0c03]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH USB XHCI Controller [1022:7814] (rev 11)
        Subsystem: Lenovo FCH USB XHCI Controller [17aa:3801]

Then get the Linux kernel database file appropriate for yours kernel version https://cateee.net/sources/lkddb/, and check manually what driver is needed for your hardware. You will find it by those 8-digit numbers - [1022:7814] or [17aa:3801] as I provided them in exaple.

Cateee.net seems quite outdated. No luck for usb 0c45:643f which is from a 4 years old laptop.
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Jaglover
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Joined: 29 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cateee.net has only what kernel has, there is apparently no 0c45:643f in kernel sources.
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xahodo
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Joined: 17 May 2007
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Location: Gouda, the Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You hear maniacal laughter...

Having dived into the kernel configuration I found my knowledge lacking. After heading back to the main menu of the kernel I found my faith lacking and I'm starting to think that Cthulhu has his clutches in the brains of the kernel developers.

Now, I'm fully intending to get a decently working kernel up and running but... my god... what has happened? Everything and the kitchen sink has been thrown in. The last kernel I configured myself was 2.6.34 (or something like that).

Support for my processor (core i7, sandy bridge), keyboard, acpi, sata and memory is needed for a basic system. Throw in some form of networking (you know... to install packages and browse a bit), in my case wifi (a nice ath9k) and a console should be enough to get things up and running. I can figure out later what I really need.

Is there any place I can go and find a decent explanation of what a particular option does? Kernel help I often find quite inadequate.
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