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Old 12-23-2007, 12:26 PM   #1
Woodsman
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Question Recompiling the kernel with make oldconfig


I never have had any success with make oldconfig. When I run that option I get all the prompts for new options and everything seems to work --- until I test the new kernel.

I added a post to the Where is APM in kernel 2.6.23.9?? about adding APM support in 2.6.23.12. I ran make oldconfig using my 2.6.21.5 configuration and the APM options disappeared.

The APM option was available if I used the original .config file.

The bummer part about starting from scratch with each kernel release is I always have to manually disable all the options I don't need for my old hardware.

All the new options are superfluous for my old hardware. Trying to remember all the options I disable is a challenge. Is there a better way to update the kernel without starting from scratch?
 
Old 12-23-2007, 12:48 PM   #2
Brian1
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From what I am reading have you saved the config from the previous build and loaded it into the new build?

Brian
 
Old 12-23-2007, 12:49 PM   #3
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cop the /boot/.config file to /usr/src/linux i found that make oldconfig does not save the file in /usr/src/linux like it needs to be...

personally i prefer to use /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/defconfig and that gives me a default minimal config then i can add only support & features for what i need & want, and if you dont like having an initrd be sure to build filesystem support for / in to the kernel itself (not as a module)...

Last edited by Okie; 12-23-2007 at 12:50 PM. Reason: fixed typo
 
Old 12-23-2007, 01:04 PM   #4
Woodsman
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Quote:
From what I am reading have you saved the config from the previous build and loaded it into the new build?
Yes.

I use a separate build directory. I copy the new kernel directory from /usr/src to my build directory. In that build directory I then save a backup copy of the new kernel config file. I then copy my previous kernel config file to my build directory and run make oldconfig.

Everything seems to work, but when I use make oldconfig something always breaks or weird happens. This time the APM options would not appear. I tried manually copying the options but to no avail. I noticed the problem after compiling and I received a FATAL error message about APM when booting. I then checked the config file and saw no APM options. Otherwise the compile seemed to succeed.

Quote:
personally i prefer to use /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/defconfig and that gives me a default minimal config then i can add only support & features for what i need & want, and if you dont like having an initrd be sure to build filesystem support for / in to the kernel itself (not as a module)...
I might try that. These old boxes do not need much.

I'm compiling again right now but I had to manually reconfigure everything to taste. The new config file is much larger than my 2.6.21.5 file, so I know I missed disabling many features. But I'll run several more passes until I'm happy. The defconfig option might be quicker, but with old hardware, kernel compiling takes a long time and I'll have to wait until my current pass is finished to try again.
 
Old 12-23-2007, 01:22 PM   #5
gnashley
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There have been some major changes recently in the arrangement of the source files and, hence, the options menus. When options get moved from one place to another they usually will get ignored when you run 'make oldconfig' this is especially true with kernel-2.6.23.x. So even though you had options enabled before they get ignore beacuse they are not in the same place now as before. I've had the same problem. You may need to textually compare your old and new config files, or use your old config file to look at while you manually go through the options windows with the new kernel. Though this problem can occur at any time, it seems that kernel-2.6.23 is a kind of 'watershed' version and maybe things will smooth out again for a few versions -hopefully...
 
Old 12-23-2007, 04:08 PM   #6
Woodsman
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Gnashley I think you described the process correctly.

I have been trying to visually diff the two config files to reduce the overhead, but that takes time because I'm not a kernel expert. Unfortunately for me, and people like me who are not software gurus, starting from scratch is a nuisance. I had reduced the size of previous kernels sufficiently through each release such that I could compile on my old hardware in "only" a couple of hours. Not so with 2.6.23.12. Three hours later and I'm still recompiling with no end in sight. Therefore I might try the defconfig route. These old boxes are static and I don't use USB. (I don't even bother with HAL or udev because nothing changes.) I never have liked the moving target approach about the kernel, but I'm no shape or position to do anything but suffer the bumpy ride along with everybody else.
 
Old 12-23-2007, 04:51 PM   #7
syg00
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Can't say I've had this sort of thing happen - although the libata change at 2.6.19 caused grief all over the place. Seems the kernel devs don't necessarily adopt this as the recommended line - Andrew Morton specifically warned against oldconfig during the test phase for 2.6.19
Can't say I saw the warning in the (release) kernel changelog - but how many people read that anyway ...

I generally use oldconfig myself, and use "diff -y ..." to eyeball. Generally a grep of "<" (or ">") helps reduce the eyestrain. I don't recall any particular issue with 2.6.23, although I had some grief at 2.6.24-rc3 that caused me to go through this routine.

Last edited by syg00; 12-23-2007 at 04:52 PM.
 
Old 12-24-2007, 03:48 PM   #8
Woodsman
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After a couple of more passes I think I now have the kernel configuration close to what I want. The 2.6.23.12 config file size actually is now smaller than my config file for 2.6.21.5. Everything seems to be working okay.

In the future I think I'll run make oldconfig only once (unless advised otherwise in the REAME) and thereafter visually diff files while concurrently running make menuconfig.
 
Old 12-24-2007, 04:59 PM   #9
syg00
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As it happens I am doing up a kernel at the moment - gotta say a Q6600 eats it up. Much quicker than the quad Xeon (PIII based) at work.

Last edited by syg00; 12-24-2007 at 05:16 PM.
 
Old 12-24-2007, 05:10 PM   #10
gnashley
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"In the future I think I'll run make oldconfig only once (unless advised otherwise in the REAME) and thereafter visually diff files while concurrently running make menuconfig."
That's exactly the way I do it.
 
  


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