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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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Debian Reference
Chapter 7 - The Linux kernel under Debian

Debian has its own method of recompiling the kernel and related modules. See also Debian and the kernel, Section 2.7.

7.1 Kernel recompile

The use of gcc, binutils, and modutils from Debian unstable may help when compiling the latest Linux kernel. See /usr/share/doc/kernel-package/README.gz, especially the bottom of this, for the official information.

Since it is a moving target, kernel compilation is a difficult subject that may confuse even the most admired developer:

Manoj Srivastava wrote:

--initrd requires a Debian-only cramfs patch.

Herbert Xu wrote:

No it does not, all you have to do to use a filesystem other than CRAMFS is to set MKIMAGE in /etc/mkinitrd/mkinitrd.conf.

Be careful and always rely on the /usr/share/doc/kernel-package/README.gz by Manoj and Kent. Make sure to obtain the latest unstable version of the kernel-package package if you are to compile the latest version of the kernel.

initrd is not needed for a kernel compiled only for one machine. I use it since I want my kernel to be almost the same as the one provided by the kernel-image packages. If you use initrd, make sure to read mkinitrd(8) and mkinitrd.conf(5). See also

Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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