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Old 07-11-2006, 01:42 PM   #1
linux_craptops
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Registered: Jul 2006
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Info on how to compile kernel for newbies?


hi

i am pretty new to linux, been running it for a couple of months now on several old laptops. One of them is an ancient gateway pI with lots of RAM but a pretty small HD. I can't get my wireless pcmcia card to work and upon reading threads on the net, i guess that i need to get the proper drivers and then 'recompile the kernel'... just wondering: is there any kind of guide or doc or page or whatever that people recommend that explains how to recompile the kernel and the types of things that one should look for ?

that particular laptop is running debian sarge...

Please advise ! I appreciate any input !

- thanks -
-- craptops forever --
 
Old 07-11-2006, 01:50 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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I use this guide for my kernel recompiles. You can aptitude install the source code for the sarge kernel or download the latest kernel source from kernel.org.

You can also do make kconfig or make gconfig instead of make xconfig. You might have to install some libraries to get one to work, but that's easy from the repositories...

Since it's an old laptop, I'd do my best to only compile in the drivers I needed for most hardware. Set everything else to no. Be sure to compile in your chipset and root filesystem (for example mine is piix and ext3). It'll probably take you a couple tries to get everything you need compiled in.

Grub should automatically fix the boot menu when you install the kernel with dpkg.

Last edited by pljvaldez; 07-11-2006 at 01:52 PM.
 
Old 07-11-2006, 02:05 PM   #3
masonm
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Don't count on Grub correctly editing the boot menu after installing a new kernel. Do yourself a huge favor and double check it. Also rename your working kernel to something like vmlinuzold or something and make an entry in the menu.lst for it just in case your newly compiled kernel doesn't work. Will save you a lot of headaches.
 
Old 07-12-2006, 08:17 AM   #4
D3javu
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You need the driver, can't just modprobe it? Tutorial? Try www.tldp.org
 
Old 07-12-2006, 08:26 AM   #5
nx5000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masonm
Don't count on Grub correctly editing the boot menu after installing a new kernel. Do yourself a huge favor and double check it. Also rename your working kernel to something like vmlinuzold or something and make an entry in the menu.lst for it just in case your newly compiled kernel doesn't work. Will save you a lot of headaches.
True, I have this in my /etc/kernel-img.conf
#postinst_hook = /sbin/update-grub
#postrm_hook = /sbin/update-grub

Commented lines

I prefer to do it myself, quite critical task to update menu.lst and its easy to do_it_yourself, much harder to make it automatic.



For the OP, I guess your card was not supported when sarge went out. Still worth checking (modprobe <driver> followed by tail /var/log/messages)

Otherwise, you don't really need to recompile your kernel, you can get the kernel-headers, the wireless extensions and dl the driver (or also dl the exact same kernel source, put it in the right place but not recompile it)

Highly depends on the card. I would suggest looking at the card support forums or ask again in the forum wireless on LQ.
 
Old 07-14-2006, 02:52 PM   #6
linux_craptops
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thanks for all that info. i gotta double check my card version to see if i can just put the drivers in there. but that laptop mentioned above is so slow it might be worth recompiling anyway just to speed things up a little bit...
 
Old 07-14-2006, 07:38 PM   #7
masonm
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If it's running slow, check to make sure you don't have a lot of extra services running that you don't use.
 
  


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