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New HOWTO: The Linux Kernel HOWTO

Table of Contents

April 2, 2001

  1. Introduction

     1.1 Read this first! (I mean it)
     1.2 A word on style

  2. Quick Steps - Kernel Compile

     2.1 Troublshoot Common Mistakes
     2.2 Sample lilo.conf

  3. Important questions and their answers

     3.1 What does the kernel do, anyway?
     3.2 Why would I want to upgrade my kernel?
     3.3 What kind of hardware do the newer kernels support?
     3.4 What version of gcc and libc do I need?
     3.5 What's a loadable module?
     3.6 How much disk space do I need?
     3.7 How long does it take?

  4. How to actually configure the kernel

     4.1 Getting the source
     4.2 Unpacking the source
     4.3 Configuring the kernel
        4.3.1 Kernel math emulation (Processor type and features)
        4.3.2 Enhanced (MFM/RLL) disk and IDE disk/cdrom support (Block Devices)
        4.3.3 Networking support (General Setup)
        4.3.4 System V IPC (General Setup)
        4.3.5 Processor family (Processor type and features)
        4.3.6 SCSI support
        4.3.7 Network device support
        4.3.8 Filesystems
  But I don't know which filesystems I need!
        4.3.9 Character devices
        4.3.10 Sound
        4.3.11 Other configuration options
        4.3.12 Kernel hacking
     4.4 Now what? (The Makefile)

  5. Compiling the kernel

     5.1 Cleaning and depending
     5.2 Compile time
     5.3 Other ``make''ables
     5.4 Installing the kernel

  6. Patching the kernel

     6.1 Applying a patch
     6.2 If something goes wrong
     6.3 Getting rid of the .orig files
     6.4 Other patches

  7. Additional packages

     7.1 kbd
     7.2 util-linux
     7.3 hdparm
     7.4 gpm

  8. Some pitfalls

     8.1 make clean
     8.2 Huge or slow kernels
     8.3 The parallel port doesn't work/my printer doesn't work
     8.4 Kernel doesn't compile
     8.5 New version of the kernel doesn't seem to boot
     8.6 You forgot to run LILO, or system doesn't boot at all
     8.7 It says `warning: bdflush not running'
     8.8 I can't get my IDE/ATAPI CD-ROM drive to work
     8.9 It says weird things about obsolete routing requests
     8.10 Firewalling not working in 1.2.0
     8.11 ``Not a compressed kernel Image file''
     8.12 Problems with console terminal after upgrade to 1.3.x
     8.13 Can't seem to compile things after kernel upgrade
     8.14 Increasing limits

  9. Note for upgrade to version 2.0.x, 2.2.x

  10. Modules

     10.1 Installing the module utilities
     10.2 Modules distributed with the kernel

  11. Tips and tricks

     11.1 Redirecting output of the make or patch commands
     11.2 Conditional kernel install
     11.3 Kernel updates

  12. Other relevant HOWTOs that might be useful

  13. Misc

     13.1 Author
     13.2 To do
     13.3 Contributions
     13.4 Copyright notice, License, and all that stuff

  14. Other Formats of this Document