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How to compile the Linux Kernel Driver | Spectrum

The Spectrum M2p/M2i/M3i/M4i/M4x cards and digitizerNETBOX/generatorNETBOX products are delivered with Linux drivers suitable for Linux installations based on kernel 2.4, 2.6, 3.x or 4.x, single processor (non-SMP) and SMP systems, 32 bit and 64 bit systems. As each Linux distribution contains different kernel versions and different system setup it is nearly every case necessary to have a directly matching kernel driver for card level products to run it on a specific system. For digitizerNETBOX products the library is suffcient and no kernel driver has to be installed.

Spectrum delivers pre-compiled kernel driver modules for a number of common distributions with the cards. You may try to use one of these kernel modules for different distributions which have a similar kernel version. Unfortunately this won’t work in most cases as most Linux system refuse to load a driver which is not exactly matching. In this case it is possible to get the kernel driver sources from Spectrum against a signed NDA.

How to get the Kernel Sources

The Linux Kernel Driver Sources are available free of charge from Spectrum but they're not open source and it is not allowed to share or upload them. Therefore we only hand them out against a signed NDA. To issue a NDA we need the following information from you:

  • Company name and address (in case that you bought directly from Spectrum the address number is sufficient)
  • Name, department and email address of the user(s) who get the kernel sources and work with it.
  • Name of the supervisor who is able to counter-sign the NDA
  • Card type and serial number
  • Linux distribution, 32/64 bit, SMP or non-SMP

Please send us and email with the above information.

After receiving this information we issue a NDA (pdf) and wait for your signed copy to return. Immediately after receiveing the signed NDA we send out the kernel driver source package to the user that is stated in the NDA.

What is needed on your system

To compile the kernel driver sources on your system you would need the Linux kernel sources installed. The way to install the Linux kernel sources is depending on the installed Linux distribution. Normally it is sufficient to search for the term "kernel sources" in your package manager and install that package and all depending packages.

How to compile the kernel driver module

First you need root privileges to do the compule and installation. Login as "root" on your system.

Unzip the delivered kernel driver source package in your user directory.

Call the compile script The compile script is part of the kernel driver sources package. This script will examine the type of system you use and compile the kernel with the correct settings. If using a kernel 2.4 the makefile expects two symbolic links in your system:

  • /usr/src/linux pointing to the correct kernel source directory
  • /usr/src/linux/.config pointing to the currently used kernel configuration

The compile script will then automatically call the install script and install the just compiled kernel module in your home directory. Select the freshly compiled kernel driver module for installation.

How to update

Normally there is no update for the kernel driver sources needed as nearly all changes are done inside the library which is freely available for download. Please download the "Linux Driver Library" package for an update. Most updates of the kernel driver are done if a new kernel version support needs some changes. In case that you're in need of a new kernel driver source package, one of the users that have signed the NDA need to get in contact with the Spectrum support team and request a new kernel driver package. Please state that you already signed a NDA.