Ubuntu Hardy 8.04.2 kernel update revisited

Mario Limonciello mario_limonciello at Dell.com
Wed Jun 17 16:48:48 CDT 2009

Hi Guys:

O. Sinclair wrote:
> Running Kubuntu Hardy 8.04.2 on Vostro 1400/inspiron 1420 I have a 
> kernel update "in the pipeline". However, having learnt from previous 
> experiences of disappearing sound and/or modem after upgrade I have 
> checked that the linux-ubuntu-modules package relating to new kernel is 
> supplied by Dell - which it is not.
> Anyone knows when/if Dell will release to the ppa repo a ubuntu-modules 
> for the new kernel 2.6.24-24?
> Sinclair
First off, sorry for the delay on an updated package for 2.6.24-24. 
We've been wanting to switch to a better solution than having to patch
linux-ubuntu-modules every time a new kernel is rolled for hardy. 
Although it's not a time consuming task, it's hard to stay on top of it
when there are other priorities to worry about.

That being said, for some time I've been attempting to assemble a better
solution for this problem that centers around using DKMS to provide that
patched snd-hda-intel kernel module instead.  Unfortunately there were a
lot of complications with building a DKMS package like this, including
ALSA bugs and DKMS bugs that have been fixed later in the releases for
both projects.

So I've got a better solution assembled now that i've uploaded to the
dell-team PPA.  Here's what it looks like:

hsfmodem -> repackaed original conexant deb that pre-depends on
hsfmodem-base-dkms -> deb that contains the ALSA 1.0.16 tree with the
ubuntu patchset (as of 2.6.24-24) applied and the conexant patchset applied

The way it will work is that provided you've got the headers installed
for the 2.6.24 based kernel you intend on booting into, it will build
the ALSA tree against those kernel headers /prior/ to the reboot into
the new kernel.  There is a header postinstall script that will execute
DKMS to do these actions.  During the next reboot, it will take longer
than normal because conexant's init script for hsfmodem triggers and
links with snd-hda-intel that was rebuilt by DKMS.  The end result
should be a functional audio driver and functional modem.

I've tested most of the scenarios I could think of related to the order
of package installation, so hopefully this should be a more stable
setup.  The one scenario I didn't test is *not* installing the headers
during a package update.  Be sure to install *all* updates prior to a
reboot if you are installing a new kernel.  The headers have to be
there, the linux-ubuntu-modules has to be there and all.

Hopefully this works out for you modem folks.  We don't ship internal
modems on any systems with an OS later than 8.04, so I wouldn't expect
to see this on a newer release than 8.04 (especially considering the
amount of work it took to get this solution right).  If someone from the
community would like to step up however and use the sources for these
packages to develop an 8.10, 9.04, or 9.10 solution you are welcome to
do so.  I've posted them at:


I'll be glad to sponsor a functional solution for any of those other
OSes into the dell-team PPA.

Mario Limonciello
*Dell | Linux Engineering*
mario_limonciello at dell.com
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