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Chapter 11.  Kernel build command line reference

As discussed in Chapter 5, Configuring and Building , the tool that ties together kernel builds is the make program, to which you pass a target that specifies what you want to build. Chapter 5, Configuring and Building went over the basic targets needed to build the kernel properly, but the kernel build system also has a wide range of other targets. This chapter details these targets, and what they can be used for.

All of these targets are passed to the make program on the command line, and a number of them can be grouped together if desired. For example:

make mrproper xconfig

The targets are broken down into different types in the following sections.

You can get a summary of most of these targets by running, within the build directory:

make help

This target prints out a lot of the common make targets that are described in the rest of this chapter.

Informational Targets

These targets print the kernel version, based on a number of different options. They are commonly used by scripts to determine the version of the kernel being built.

Table 11.1. Informational targets




Displays the current kernel version, as determined by the build system.


Displays the current kernel version, as told by the main Makefile. This differs from the kernelrelease target in that it doesn't use any additional version information based on configuration options or localversion files.

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