[Courses][Linux comands] customizing/installing a 2.6 kernel

Carla Schroder carla at bratgrrl.com
Thu Mar 25 15:00:56 EST 2004

While I'm on a roll here- 2.6 is different. Start out the same as for 2.4:

-download and unpack new kernel sources into your homedir, NOT /usr/src. In 
this example, ~/src. Let's do 2.6.3
-CD to ~/src/linux-2.6.3 
-edit ~/src/linux-2.6.3/Makefile and give EXTRAVERSION= a unique value, like 

$ make mrproper
$ make menuconfig OR
$ make xconfig
$ make
# make modules_install
# cp ~/src/linux-2.6.3/arch/i386/boot/bzimage  /boot/bzImage-2.6.3-newkernel
# cp ~/src/System.map /boot/System.map-2.6.3-newkernel
# ln -s /boot/System.map-2.6.3-newkernel /boot/System.map
$ make clean

Add to bootloader. Enjoy new kernel.

'make xconfig' has been completely overhauled for the 2.6 kernel. It requires 
QT, including the dev libs, and X. It's a great configurator, I think it's 
faster and better than menuconfig.

Again, the essential docs in the kernel build tree are linux-2.6.3/README, and 
linux-2.6.3/Documentation/Changes. Read the other stuff too. README has 
building and  troubleshooting help. 

Again, configuration is the tricky part. READ THE HELP. There's a help file 
for every single step.

Run 'make clean' at the end only if you plan to re-use the build tree, 
otherwise you can delete the whole works. linux-2.6.3/Makefile tells you 
which files are deleted by 'make clean', and which ones are deleted by 'make 
mrproper.' mrproper is more thorough.

You can safely configure and build multiple kernels, and run 'make 
modules_install' each time, as long you remember to use a unique 
EXTRAVERSION= value each time. This ensures that each new kernel and each new 
batch of modules will have different names, and not overwrite your previous 

Do not use a .config file from 2.4. 2.4 and 2.6 are very different.

There is zero risk to your system in compiling and building a kernel. The fun 
begins when you try to boot to it. :)  

Carla Schroder
this message brought to you
by Libranet 2.8 and Kmail

More information about the Courses mailing list