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kola 12-01-2004 03:47 AM

updating custom kernel
Ok so i have installed kernel 2.6.8-1.

Now assuming i understand this ok, if a security risk was found in this kernel, a new one would be released, maybe 2.6.8-2. And then i could download and install this, easy enough.

But what if i have customised my own kernel from the kernel source. How would i go about updating it, or would i have to download it and go through the whole menuconfig again to recompile or something?

If so, would the .config file for 2.6.8-1 be usable with a future 2.6.8-20?


hostile1313 12-01-2004 04:19 AM

you can get the new source then copy your old .config file into the directory and use "make oldconfig" this should keep your old setting and ask you for any new settings that the kernel has that wasn't specefied in the old kernel.

kola 12-01-2004 04:38 AM

Ah that makes sense. I'd hate to have to edit every option every time a new kernel came out.

On this old machine a recompile takes almost an hour.

hostile1313 12-01-2004 05:02 AM


Originally posted by kola
Ah that makes sense. I'd hate to have to edit every option every time a new kernel came out.

On this old machine a recompile takes almost an hour.

will after you have the config file setup you will still have to compile, and I do remember that when I had linux on a slow machine it would take hours to compile, then you get an error and have to start over. The good thing though is once you have a kernel thats up to date and properly configued then there is no need to update it for sometime. Most people will actually waite 6 months or a year and see how a new kernel release is doing before they trust to upgrade. So there is no need unless the new kernel supports something on your box that you need and can not get it to work with old kernel.

If you just want to play though, I should say once I got a new computer and put linux on it, the compiling only takes 15 minuts are so, so thats defiantly something to look at, linux isnt just for old machines :)

kola 12-01-2004 05:16 AM

Yeah i know id have to recompile. but i wouldnt have to do it several times because i missed a few options, or removed the wrong one causing errors :)

Is there really much point in configuring it yourself? There must be a speed difference maybe, but where would you notice it?

Is the system more secure to remove all the unneeded stuff from the kernel?

hostile1313 12-01-2004 05:22 AM

well I still consider myself a newbie to linux so maybe your asking the wrong guy. But I think with the speed of todays computers your not going to notice a real differene. I configured my kernel manually just so I could learn more about it, but now looking back on it if say my network card failed I would have to reconfigure my kernel again because it doesnt have the ability to use any other enthernet cards. The only real reason to configure your kernel is for special needs that the default doesnt offer, or if you have a specialized system that say your wanting to use as a a router or something then you could make the kernel a lot more secure with not having some of the features enabled that could cause a vunerbility and you can reduce the size of the kernel. But from my experience, a basic install with the default kernel works on most desktops

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