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Miscellaneous Hints on Linux

Table of Contents

How to compile your own kernel

Using the standard kernel sources from kernel.org (or preferrably one of its mirrors near you), you should unpack the tar-ball in /usr/src/. This results in a directory like /usr/src/linux/.

If you use Debian, it's best to use the Debian-way of compiling a kernel.
Otherwise, perform the work by hand:

  cd /usr/src/linux/

  make mrproper
  make xconfig  (--> also possible are 'make menuconfig' or 'make config')
     ... and configure your kernel as you wish
     ... saving the configuration on exit time
     ... (the config is saved as '.config')
  make dep
  make bzImage
  make modules
  make modules_install  (--> creates /lib/modules/<kernel-version>/)
  cp .config /boot/config-<kernel-version>
  cp System.map /boot/System.map-<kernel-version>
  cp arch/i386/boot/bzImage /boot/vmlinuz-<kernel-version>

Finally, edit /etc/lilo.conf (or your other boot manager's config-file, if you don't use LILO) to include the new kernel image "vmlinuz-<kernel-version>".
Now, run "lilo -t" and check for errors. If everything went fine, run "lilo" to effectively install the new configuration and reboot your machine.

Kernel Trees

There are lot's of different Linux kernel trees with different goals each: To my knowledge all of them are based on the official 2.2, 2.4 or 2.6 trees available from kernel.org and mirrors. Some of them want to improve functionality, replace core-internals such as schedulers or "simply" wanna make the kernel more stable ... and that's exactly what James Bourne's Update Version patchset (suffix "-uv") does:
"This patch set will fix only security problems and provide bug fixes in the current release kernel, there are no new features, only fixes. If you're looking for new features, move along there's nothing to see here."

"Promise PDC20276 IDE Controller" and Linux 2.4.21

If you have a Promise PDC 20276 IDE Controller (e.g. on board the Asus A7V333 mainboard) and are wondering, why it doesn't work anymore with kernel version 2.4.21 (though it had worked with 2.4.20):
Try recompiling your kernel not only with "PROMISE PDC202{68|69|70|71|75|76|77} support" but also with "Special FastTrak Feature" (CONFIG_PDC202XX_FORCE=y) enabled.


Oh, and, BTW:
There finally are official Linux drivers from Promise (at least for some RedHat etc. versions). They can be found in section "FastTrack TX2000".

Change the default compiler

If you want to compile your kernel with a different compiler than your system's default one - e.g. to explicitly use gcc-2.95:

In /usr/src/linux/, run:
  perl -pi.bak -e 's/gcc/gcc-2.95/' Makefile

IDE CD-Writers under Kernel 2.6.0-test11 (an up?)

With Linux 2.6.0-test11 (and most probably later kernel versions too), there is no need for ide-scsi emulation anymore to be able to burn with an IDE CD-writer. Running "cdrecord dev=/dev/hdc ..." or similar should work.

Nevertheless, it appears there is the need for "patched" (or "enough up to date") cdr-tools. As of 03-12-01, Debian's unstable tree holds cdrecord 2.0+a19-6, which seems to work fine (according to a news-posting I read in at.linux).

nVidia drivers and Kernel 2.6

Especially since 2.6 is not without problems concerning compatability with binary modules:
Check out this VMWare and NVidia on Linux 2.6 Kernel HowTo. Another great resource on this topic is minion.de which holds lots of information on current versions of the nVidia drivers. Check this out!

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© Markus Amersdorfer (markus<dott>amersdorfer<att>subnet<dott>at)
last modified: 2010-02-23 14:56:31
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