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Everything's a file

Posted 10-09-2020 at 12:31 PM by hazel

In most operating systems, a file is simply and solely a named block of data stored in a particular area or areas of a disk drive, which can be retrieved and optionally modified at will. In Unix systems like Linux, quite a few other things besides stored data masquerade as files. Hence the old joke that in Unix, everything's a file. It's not quite true but there is some truth in it. Things that aren't files but behave as if they were make Unix systems much simpler internally than many other OS's....
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Posted in Linux kernel
Views 402 Comments 0 hazel is offline
Old

All kinds of version numbers

Posted 08-28-2020 at 06:44 AM by hazel

A novice in on of the LQ forums recently complained that he couldn't understand version numbers in Linux. That's not perhaps surprising because software version numbers are used in several different ways, often simultaneously. Every program or library that is in active development goes through different versions as its developer adds features or corrects reported bugs. The Linux kernel is no exception, for it is, after all a program. But over the years, the kernel versioning system has become a...
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Views 3083 Comments 0 hazel is offline
Old

Notes on building a kernel

Posted 11-18-2018 at 01:12 PM by hazel
Updated 01-16-2020 at 05:50 AM by hazel

First of all, why would you ever want to build a kernel? All binary Linux distros (and that means most distros) come with a ready-made "stock" kernel that will run on just about any type of hardware.

In the early days of Linux, many people built their own kernels because memory and disk space were both limited. It made sense to create a kernel that was lean and mean, that would contain drivers only for the hardware you actually had and no spare fat. Nowadays a stock kernel...
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Posted in Linux kernel
Views 1557 Comments 0 hazel is offline
Old

Bisecting a kernel

Posted 09-04-2018 at 09:12 AM by hazel
Updated 11-27-2019 at 11:53 AM by hazel

Sometimes you find yourself doing things that you would previously have considered as only suitable for geeks.

I don't consider it particularly geeky to build your own kernel. When I was starting out with Linux, hardware was pretty limited, and building a custom kernel was often the best way to get a quick boot. Nowadays I prefer to use the stock kernel if there is one, but two of my regular distros (Crux and LFS) require a hand-rolled kernel.

I have always regarded...
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Posted in Linux kernel
Views 212 Comments 0 hazel is offline

  



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