When the topic of this book was first presented to me, I dismissed it as
something that was already covered by the plentiful documentation about the
Linux kernel. Surely someone had already written down all of the basics
needed in order to build, install, and customize the Linux kernel, as it
seemed to be a very simple task to me.
After digging through the different HOWTOs and the Linux kernel
Documentation directory, I came to the conclusion that
there was not any one place where all of this information could be found.
It could be gleaned by referencing a few files here, and a few outdated
websites there, but this was not acceptable for anyone who did not know
exactly what they were looking in the first place.
So this book was created with the goal of consolidating all of the existing
information already scattered around the Internet about building the Linux
kernel, as well as adding a lot of new and useful information that was not written
down anywhere but had been learned by trial and error over my years of
doing kernel development.
My secret goal of this book is to bring more people into the Linux kernel
development fold. The act of building a customized kernel for your machine
is one of the basic tasks needed to become a Linux kernel developer. The
more people that try this out, and realize that there is not any real magic
behind the whole Linux kernel process, the more people will be willing to
jump in and help out in making the kernel the best that it can be.
This book is intended to cover everything that is needed to know in order
to properly build, customize, and install the Linux kernel. No programming
experience is needed to understand and use this book.
Some familiarity with how to use Linux, and some basic command-line usage
is expected of the reader.
This book is not intended to go into the programming aspects of the Linux
kernel; there are many other good books listed in the Bibliography that
already cover this topic.