Linux 2.6: Compiling and Installing Page 2

By Carla Schroder (Send Email)
Posted Apr 13, 2004

Download and Unpack Your Shiny New Kernel Sources

Get the latest stable 2.6 kernel from The Linux Kernel Archives. Click on the "F" to get the complete kernel source. It's a 32 MB download, and it unpacks to 172MB. Download and unpack it somewhere in your /home directory. The traditional way is create ~/src, and unpack it in there:

$ bzcat linux-2.6.3.tar.bz2 | tar -xvf -

Be sure to review the Documents directory. There are bales of good information in there. README gives installation instructions. Next, it's a good idea to make printouts of your hardware information, you will need it. Make a hard copy of /etc/fstab, and print out the output of lscpi:

$ lspci | lpr

and dmesg:

$ dmesg | lpr

If the margins are too small, use lpr -o page-left=72 -o page-right=72 to set them at one inch.

Check your /usr/src directory for a .config file. There won't be one if you've never compiled a kernel on the system. If it does exist, make a backup copy, because it's going to be overwritten. Then run

$ make mrproper

This resets the source directory to a pristine state, giving our new kernel a clean start.


First, find ../linux-2.6.3/Makefile and edit it. At the very beginning are these lines:

NAME=Feisty Dunnart

Yes, the 2.6.3 kernel is really named Feisty Dunnart. What we want to do here is give EXTRAVERSION a unique value, so we can quickly identify this kernel. This can be anything, even -shiny-new-test-kernel, and after it's all built and installed, the kernel name will look like this:

$ uname -r

We're almost there. If you can't wait for the next installment and want to leap ahead, keep in mind that almost all of the steps in building a kernel can, and should, be done as an ordinary, unprivileged user. Only two steps require root privileges: running make modules_install and editing the boot loader.

2.6.2 aka "Feisty Dunnart" release announcement
The Kernel-HOWTO

This article was originally published on CrossNodes.

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