Chapter 6. Updating Drivers During Installation on AMD64 and Intel 64 Systems

In most cases, Red Hat Enterprise Linux already includes drivers for the devices that make up your system. However, if your system contains hardware that has been released very recently, drivers for this hardware might not yet be included. Sometimes, a driver update that provides support for a new device might be available from Red Hat or your hardware vendor on a driver disc that contains RPM packages. Typically, the driver disc is available for download as an ISO image file.

Important

Driver updates should only be performed if a missing driver prevents you to complete the installation successfully. The drivers included in the kernel should always be preferred over drivers provided by other means.
Often, you do not need the new hardware during the installation process. For example, if you use a DVD to install to a local hard drive, the installation will succeed even if drivers for your network card are not available. In such a situation, complete the installation and add support for the new hardware afterward - see Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 System Administrator's Guide for details of adding this support.
In other situations, you might want to add drivers for a device during the installation process to support a particular configuration. For example, you might want to install drivers for a network device or a storage adapter card to give the installation program access to the storage devices that your system uses. You can use a driver disc to add this support during installation in one of two ways:
  1. place the ISO image file of the driver disc in a location accessible to the installation program, on a local hard drive, on a USB flash drive, or on a CD or DVD.
  2. create a driver disc by extracting the image file onto a CD or a DVD, or a USB flash drive. See the instructions for making installation discs in Section 3.1, “Making an Installation CD or DVD” for more information on burning ISO image files to a CD or DVD, and Section 3.2, “Making Installation USB Media” for instructions on writing ISO images to USB drives.
If Red Hat, your hardware vendor, or a trusted third party told you that you will require a driver update during the installation process, choose a method to supply the update from the methods described in this chapter and test it before beginning the installation. Conversely, do not perform a driver update during installation unless you are certain that your system requires it. The presence of a driver on a system for which it was not intended can complicate support.

Warning

Driver update disks sometimes disable conflicting kernel drivers, where necessary. In rare cases, unloading a kernel module in this way can cause installation errors.

6.1. Limitations of Driver Updates During Installation

On UEFI systems with the Secure Boot technology enabled, all drivers being loaded must be signed with a valid certificate, otherwise the system will refuse them. All drivers provided by Red Hat are signed by one of Red Hat's private keys and authenticated by the corresponding Red Hat public key in the kernel. If you load any other drivers (ones not provided on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation DVD), you must make sure that they are signed as well.
More information about signing custom drivers can be found in the Working with Kernel Modules chapter in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 System Administrator's Guide.