3.5 Using a Driver Update Disk

A Driver Update Disk (DUD) provides a mechanism for delivering updated device drivers during system installation. On some systems, hardware may not be fully supported for an Oracle Linux release. In these cases, a DUD may be released at a later date, to facilitate installation on newer hardware.

DUDs can be released by Oracle and made available on the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud or through Oracle Support, as modules become available for previously unsupported hardware. The DUD is usually released in the form of an ISO.

During installation, the installer can load the updated device driver kernel modules from the DUD so that it can access the devices and install the required RPM packages on the target system. The RPM packages also contain alternate device drivers. This process allows the installation to proceed smoothly on systems with hardware that might not have been initially supported at the time of the Oracle Linux release.

Preparing to use a Driver Update Disk image

Warning

Writing the DUD ISO to the wrong device may result in data loss. Check that you reference the correct device node when you copy the image. Use the lsblk utility to help you to identify the different disks block devices on your system.

Use the dd command line utility to transfer the DUD image to an alternate storage device:

# dd if=/path/to/DUD.iso of=/dev/sdX

Replace /path/to/DUD.iso with the path to access the DUD ISO file. Replace /dev/sdX with the device node that belongs to the storage media that you intend to use for the DUD. Typically, you might use a USB disk for this purpose.

Using the Driver Update Disk during installation

To use the DUD during an installation, boot from the standard Oracle Linux installation media as you normally would, but also attach the media that contains the DUD image before the installer starts. The installer should automatically recognize the DUD and use it. You might be prompted to select which drivers to install.

Note

Some versions of BIOS may fail to identify the installation media when multiple USB storage devices are connected. Therefore, it is recommended that you insert the DUD USB media once the boot process started. For example, attach the disk while the system is at the GRUB boot prompt.

The kernel used by the installer, may not include support for USB 3.0. When using the DUD on USB media, ensure that you use a USB 2.0 compatible port when connecting the USB media to the system.

It is also possible to manually specify the location of the DUD before the installer actually boots. This makes it possible to host the ISO at an alternate location, such as a web server or an NFS server, and helps to facilitate kickstart installations where the DUD may be required. To specify the location of the DUD manually, edit the boot parameters to include inst.dd=location, where location is the URL or path to the device where the DUD can be accessed.

To access the boot parameters in the boot menu when you are running the installation manually, press either the E key (UEFI-based systems) or the Tab key (BIOS-based systems). A prompt is displayed which enables you to edit the boot options already defined and add your own options. See Section 3.1, “Installation Boot Options” for more information.

If you intend to use a DUD during a kickstart installation, use the driverdisk installation option in your kickstart file to specify the location of the disk. For example, to install from an attached block device, use the following:

driverdisk /dev/sdb1

Alternately, to install from a network location, use the --source switch:

driverdisk --source=http://www.example.com/dd.iso

The installer supports the use of HTTP, FTP and NFS as sources for network hosted DUD images.