Compiling your own Linux kernel may sound like a pretty scary task.
Take a deep breath and ``enjoy the experience.'' It is actually not
such a big thing to compile your own kernel. And Debian makes it even
more straightforward by supplying the kernel-package
leave you with a kernel-image
package that you simply
install, just as you would any kernel-image
might get from Debian.
The advantages of compiling your own kernel include being able to tune
the kernel to your specific hardware, and ending up with a smaller
kernel. You may also need to compile your own kernel if the default
kernel does not support some specific hardware you have. The
distributed kernels though are becoming modular and it is becoming
rare that you would need to compile your own kernel. If you do
though, the recipe here should help and the introduction to compiling
your own kernel at
http://newbiedoc.sourceforge.net/tutorials/kernel-pkg/index-kernel-pkg.htmlshould prove a useful read.
The hardware we review in this book has occasionally required kernel
compiles. For example, Bartok (101.6) contains over 1GB of memory but
the supplied kernels limit to less than 1GB (NOHIGHMEM).
Mint (101.32) had a specific kernel compiled for it with sound support
through ALSA, IDE SCSI emulation support for CDRW, and with PPP and
IPMASQ support. Velox (101.31) had a kernel compiled with sound
support through ALSA, IDE SCSI emulation support for CDRW, and support
for dual processors.
Some sample compiles of the kernel are included with specific
installations in Section 101. See
Section 101.6.5 for an example of
compiling kernel 2.4.16 with extra memory support (HIGHMEM) and
multiple CPU support (SMP). See Section 101.21.3 for
an example of obtaining the linux kernel source (kernel 2.4.19)
directly and compiling it the Debian way for Bach (101.21). See
Section 101.18.3 for an example of obtaining the
linux kernel source (kernel 2.4.19) and patching it with a pre-release
(2.4.20-pre11) and compiling it the Debian way for Vivaldi (101.18).
Note that kernel version numbers interact with Debian's package
management. By calling your own compiled kernel version 2:kayon.1 it
will be a more recent version number than the standard Debian
kernel-image package. That is, kernel-image-2.2.14_2:kayon.1_i386
is regarded as being more recent than
kernel-image-2.2.14_2.2.14-1_i386. Thus, the packaging system will
not try to install a more recent 2.2.14 over your own kernel image.
Debian kernel packages always have the version number the same as the
kernel version number.
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