Updating kernel on Legacy os

This is a similar request to donwatsons recent post about updating the kernel but doesn’t have the same solution

I have been messing about with many different distros trying to get an old laptop with only 128mb ram running and finally got Legacy OS 2.1 to install and run beautifully however Legacy (which a puppy derivative with a KDE slant) runs with a very old kernel ( due to it’s philosophy of running outdated software suitable for older computers, that’s all fine and dandy but the problem is I can find a driver for any of 3 usb network adaptors i have I’ve been through every module available on the system and not one will work on any of the adaptors, to make things worse this laptop doesn’t have a built in ethernet socket and although I have a USB ethernet adaptor there doesn’t seem to be a driver for that either.

so my question is can upgrade to a more recent kernel that might have the drivers and if so how would I go about it ?

Any help or advice would be much appreciated


It’s unlikely you could update the kernel much as the graphics stack would be outdated

But if you say what network cards you have, maybe we can find a driver that can be compiled under the 2.6 kernel

eg. plug em in and post the output from


so we can see their vendor:product ID string.

Thank you Mark

Bus 001 Device 005: ID 050d:705c Belkin Components F5D7050 Wireless G Adapter v4000 [Zydas ZD1211B]
Bus 001 Device 006: ID 148f:3070 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT2870/RT3070 Wireless Adapter
Bus 004 Device 008: ID 148f:5370 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT5370 Wireless Adapter.

The Belkin is probably the oldest out of the 3 adaptors and you’ll see on the screenshot there is a ZD1211 listed (not ZD1211B) which may be ok but that I need to do something else to make it work as per the weird notes you’ll see on the screenshot I don’t understand


Many thanks


I take it you’ve attempted to highlight the zd1211rw driver and hit OK … then used the Belkin ?

have you got a working ethernet connection ?

I take it you've attempted to highlight the zd1211rw driver and hit OK .. then used the Belkin ?

I tried selecting that driver with the Belkin plugged it but it returned no active network devices detected or words to that effect

No I don’t have any internet connection


without an internet connection to install the kernel headers and build essential it’s going to be impossible to compile any drivers.

Yeah I can see that

Legacy run really well and on the surface looks finished & polished but it seems that’s achieved by running an old kernel and old versions of software, it comes with a pile of software pre-installed such as Gimp, Shotwell, Opera, umpteen file managers including Dolphin so it seems to me it’s designed to work as is and not much use if you want to fiddle with it and add your own software etc

Looks like it gonna have to be Tahrpup I had that running on it before and the speed was amazing I was just looking for something different but as they say nothing ventured nothing gained :slight_smile:

many thanks for looking into it


You can get the required packages by downloading them as packages on an internet-connected machine, then transferring manually (USB stick, LAN, CD-RW, etc), and unpacking & installing on the Legacy machine. However, I don’t know how that works on Puppy, I only know about apt-get (Debian/Ubuntu-based)

Well yeah you probably could but you’d be doing your own dependency resolution … and have you seen the dependency list for something like build-essential ?
(and those dependencies may have dependencies)

Sure it can be done, just a matter of how much trouble you wanna go through :wink:

in fact it might be easier to get an old version of Ubuntu with the same/similar kernel version/architecture … compile the drivers on that … then transfer across the resulting .ko (and firmware if required) … and depmod it.
(in fact the kernel module(s) and firmware may already be present in an old Ubuntu)

6.10 Edgy Eft = 2.6.17
7.04 Feisty Fawn = 2.6.20

Then again it might just be easier to ask on the puppy forum if the headers and build tools are already installed … but I doubt it, puppy try to keep everything small.