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linux:compiling-the-linux-kernel [2017/03/07 14:05]
seanburns created
linux:compiling-the-linux-kernel [2019/01/21 11:11]
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-====== Compiling ​the Linux Kernel ======+<​markdown>​ 
 +## Preparing to modify ​the Linux kernel:
-**date: 2016-09-27 09:46:31-04:00**+Clone your Fedora VM 
 +Update your machine:
 +``$ sudo dnf check-update ; sudo dnf update``
 +- Install the following:
 +``$ sudo dnf install ncurses-devel bison elfutils-libelf-devel``
 +``$ sudo dnf install openssl-devel``
 +- Install the following groups of packages:
 +``$ sudo dnf groupinstall '​Development Tools'
 +``$ sudo dnf groupinstall 'C Development Tools and Libraries'​``
 +- Download the latest, stable release of the Linux kernel from The kernel is about 100MBs large, and this needs
 +to be done ahead of time. Use *wget* to download the kernel:
 +``$ wget https://​​pub/​linux/​kernel/​v4.x/​linux-4.18.8.tar.xz``
 +Here are some notes on the basics of compiling a Linux kernel. We're following
 +the text by [Soyinka][1],​ which means we're downloading the most recent kernel
 +source tree, enabling NTFS support as a module, and then re-compiling. We're
 +recompiling a kernel for a Fedora 23 system that's running in VirtualBox.
 +**Note** about code snippets:
 +- Lines beginning with a "​$"​ sign signify normal user prompt
 +- Lines beginning with a "​%"​ sign signify root prompt
 +- Lines beginning with a "#"​ sign signify comments in Bash
 +- Lines w/o any initial sign signify standard output
 +We can identify the current kernel by using <​code>​uname</​code>​. ​
 +    $ uname -a
 +    4.7.4-100.fc23.x86_64
 +This is also the latest kernel at, but we'll recompile it to see how
 +the process goes and to enable NTFS support.
 +First, let's download the source code for the latest release (as of this
 +writing), and unpack it in */usr/src*:
 +    $ su root
 +    % cd /usr/src
 +    % wget 
 +    https://​​pub/​linux/​kernel/​v4.x/​linux-4.18.8.tar.xz
 +    % tar xvJf linux-4.7.4.tar.xz
 +Now let's begin to configure the source for our particular virtual machine.
 +As an aside, sometimes we re-compile kernels to eliminate support for hardware
 +we don't have, for enabling hardware that we need, or for patching kernels with
 +security updates. There are more use-cases, but regarding harwdware, we can use
 +<​code>​lspci</​code>​ and <​code>​lshw</​code>​ to list PCI devices and other hardware
 +on the system. This is what my virtual system thinks it has:
 +    % lspci
 +    00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 440FX - 82441FX PMC [Natoma] (rev 02)
 +    00:01.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82371SB PIIX3 ISA [Natoma/​Triton II]
 +    00:01.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82371AB/​EB/​MB PIIX4 IDE (rev 01)
 +    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: InnoTek Systemberatung GmbH VirtualBox Graphics Adapter
 +    00:03.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82540EM Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 02)
 +    00:04.0 System peripheral: InnoTek Systemberatung GmbH VirtualBox Guest Service
 +    00:05.0 Multimedia audio controller: Intel Corporation 82801AA AC'97 Audio Controller (rev 01)
 +    00:06.0 USB controller: Apple Inc. KeyLargo/​Intrepid USB
 +    00:07.0 Bridge: Intel Corporation 82371AB/​EB/​MB PIIX4 ACPI (rev 08)
 +    00:0d.0 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 82801HM/HEM (ICH8M/​ICH8M-E) SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 02)
 +We need to install <​code>​lshw</​code>​. Then:
 +    % dnf install lshw
 +    % lshw | less
 +(Output too long to show.)
 +We're going to run <​code>​make menuconfig</​code>,​ but before we do so, we'll
 +first run <​code>​make mrproper</​code>​ to clean up the build environment. First,
 +install the development tools, then change into the kernel tree directory, and
 +run mkproper.
 +    # need the tools to build the kernel
 +    % dnf install @development-tools
 +    # alternatively,​ this is supposed to work: dnf groupinstall "​Development Tools"
 +    % cd /​usr/​src/​linux-4.7.4
 +    % make mrproper
 +    # copy the current kernel'​s config file to $PWD
 +    % cp /​boot/​config-`uname -r` .config
 +    # alternatively:​ cp /​boot/​config-$(uname -r) .config
 +    # run menuconfig
 +    % make menuconfig
 +    # received an error about a missing ncurses header file, so:
 +    % dnf install ncurses-devel.x86_64
 +    # now re-run menuconfig
 +    % make menuconfig
 +We're following the text by [Soyinka][1],​ and enabling support for NTFS as a
 +module. I'm skipping her description here, but the changes we've made to
 +.config include:
 +    % grep -i ntfs .config
 +Next open the Makefile and add *-custom* to the EXTRAVERSION variable, and then
 +    % make kernelversion
 +    4.7.4-custom
 +After running *make*, I found I still needed to install some more development
 +files. Here we go:
 +    % dnf -y group install 'C Development Tools and Libraries'​
 +Woops, another error. We also need to install:
 +    % dnf install openssl-devel
 +    % make
 +And it's compiling. Takes about an hour on the virtual system w/ only 1 CPU. If
 +we want it to go faster, next time assign more CPUs, if we can spare them, in
 +our VB settings.
 +Now we need to install the modules and then run <​code>​make</​code>​ again.
 +    % make modules_install
 +More compiling. (Next time run <​code>​time</​code>​ command to get a report on how
 +Next, copy and rename the kernel image to /boot, as well as
 +    % cp /​usr/​src/​linux-4.7.4/​arch/​x86_64/​boot/​bzImage /​boot/​vmlinux-4.7.4-custom
 +    % cp /​usr/​src/​linux-4.7.4/​ /​boot/​
 +Finally, create the RAM file system image, create list of module dependences,​
 +and update the boot loader config. Before rebooting, check
 +<​code>/​boot/​grub2/​grub.cfg</​code>​ to see if the boot config was updated, and
 +then reboot.
 +    % new-kernel-pkg --mkinitrd --dracut --depmod --install 4.7.4-custom
 +    % reboot
 +After reboot and selecting the new image from grub:
 +    $ uname -r
 +    4.7.4-custom
 +### References
 +Soyinka, Wale. (2015). *Linux administration:​ A beginner'​s guide*. New York:
 +MacGraw Hill Education.
 +[1]: https://​​Linux-Administration-Beginner%E2%80%99s-Guide-Seventh/​dp/​0071845364/​
linux/compiling-the-linux-kernel.txt · Last modified: 2019/01/21 11:11 by seanburns