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I figured out the problem with "make xconfig", for one, it has to be "make Xconfigurator", and it has to be in the directory where the bzImage is....
So, got past that problem, got the kernel recompiled (used the 2.2.17-21, figured if I can get it to work, I will try the latest), managed to boot into it even, but when I tried to do a "make install" to move it to it's proper directory and whatever else that command does, the thing crashed.
Distribution: Debian, Red Hat, Slackware, Fedora, Ubuntu
make xconfig was the right command. Here is a QUICK kernel recompile HOWTO.
1) Untar the kernel source into /usr/src/linux
2) Do a make by typing either make xconfig (if you are in X), make menuconfig (uses ncurses - this is the one I use) or make config (very old style and not recommended).
3) make dep
4) make clean
5) make bzImage
6) make modules
7) make modules_install
There is no make install for the kernel. You can either copy the files into /boot or do a make bzlilo which will put vmlinuz and System.Map into the root directory. Hope this helps.