Non-destructive method for loading a new kernel

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This article Based on work by frontalot and timtimred. Originally by timtimred. at

PowerPC Only
This kernel loading method only works for the powerpc-hdhlan and powerpc-hdhglan LinkStations; it does not work for the mipsel-hdhlan LinkStation

This article details a non-destructive (no flashing required) method for loading a new kernel. We will use a special kernel module which loads a new kernel in real-time. We assume that you already have a working Projects/OpenLink or Projects/FreeLink installation.

  • Download and extract a precompiled kernel. You may obtain one from the [downloads area] or use an existing Kuro Box kernel. Kuro Box kernels work on the powerpc-hdhlan LinkStation while Kuro Box HG kernels work on the powerpc-hdhglan LinkStation. Remember that the kernel must be in binary form:
objcopy -O binary vmlinux
  • Then load the new kernel using the special loader.o kernel module (adjust directories as necessary):
cd /lib/modules/2.4.17_mvl21-sandpoint
sync; modprobe loader kernel=/boot/vmlinux
  • Wait a few seconds then log in to your LinkStation and verify that it's using the new kernel:
uname -a
  • You will need to load the new kernel after each reboot. A special thanks goes out to Jochang for writing this wonderful kernel loader. You may obtain the loader.o source code from [here] or directly from [Jochang's web site].