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Easy method to test kernel modules (drivers)

This document (7015696) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 3 (SLES 11 SP3)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 2 (SLES 11 SP2)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 1 (SLES 11 SP1)


Need to test a newer kernel module (driver) to see if it will work.


  1. Create the /lib/modules/{kernelversion}/updates directory.  Where {kernelversion} is output of "uname -r".  Drivers in the "updates" directory have precedence.
  2. Copy {driver}.ko to /lib/modules/{kernelversion}/updates/   Where {driver} is the name of the driver.
  3. Run “depmod -a” to resolve dependencies.
  4. Run "modprobe {driver}" to load the driver.
  5. Run "lsmod | grep {driver}"   This checks to make sure the driver got loaded
  6. Run "modinfo {driver}"  Use this command to confirm that the driver loaded from your /lib/modules/{kernelversion}/update directory

Example using e1000e Intel Network driver:

localhost:/lib/modules # mkdir /lib/modules/`uname -r`/updates
localhost:/lib/modules # cp -v /tmp/e1000e.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/updates
`/tmp/e1000e.ko' -> `/lib/modules/3.0.101-'
localhost:/lib/modules # depmod -a
localhost:/lib/modules # modprobe e1000e
localhost:/lib/modules # lsmod | grep e1000e
e1000e                258556  0
localhost:/lib/modules # modinfo e1000e | head -5
filename:       /lib/modules/3.0.101-
version:        2.1.4-k
license:        GPL
description:    Intel(R) PRO/1000 Network Driver
author:         Intel Corporation, <>

Additional Information

To remove the tested driver:
  1. Run "rmmod {driver}" to unload the driver.
  2. Delete the driver from /lib/modules/{kernelversion}/updates.
  3. Run "depmod -a" to reset the path to the in-kernel driver.
  4. Run "modprobe {driver}" to reload the in-kernel driver.

Production systems should use an updated kernel that includes the needed drivers or a Kernel Module Package (KMP) that has the needed drivers.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7015696
  • Creation Date: 25-Sep-2014
  • Modified Date:03-Mar-2020
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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