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Old 11-19-2005, 01:28 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2005
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compile a kernel from source???

I would like to try and compile a kernel from source but I have got to you I'm fairly new to Linux.

Currently I have my box up and running with 2.6.11, so my question is really 2 fold.

Can I get a list of the hardware currently in my box for use when building the new kernel and secondly how do I download from CVS and why is it different than Fedora?

Thanks for any help you can give.

p.s. what does "vanilla" mean with regards to kernels?


Last edited by vbtalent; 11-19-2005 at 01:39 PM.
Old 11-19-2005, 01:47 PM   #2
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Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Columbia
Distribution: SuSE 10.0
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Okay, if you want to see what's in your box, execute this in a terminal:

sudo sbin/lspci

This will give you a readout of all of the components in your box. "Vanilla" kernels are kernels that are taken straight from the official repositories and have not been modified or patched in any way by anyone else. To download from CVS, you need to install the program that runs CVS from your package manager (in Debian, sudo apt-get install cvs does the trick) and then follow the instructions on the website you're trying to get CVS stuff from as to username, password, server addresses. I dunno what you would want with CVS if you are a new user as CVS is daily code snapshots that are not stable- it's developer stuff.

To compile a kernel- you need to get the kernel source from your distro's install disc or repository. Best results happen when you recompile the kernel with the same version the distro shipped with. I can give you instructions how, but it would be best do search here on the forums for "kernel compile your distro's name" so you can get simple copy-and-paste or specific instructions for your distro. That works better than general instructions.
Old 11-19-2005, 03:20 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2005
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p_kelchen thanks for the reply.

Maybe CVS isn't what I want I just hear that thrown about quite liberally.

I'm currently running FC4 2.6.11 so heeding your advice I should then be looking at upgrading with a FC4 kernel should the source then be retrieved by apt get?

As far as the actual compiling will it know what is installed in my machine given there is an existing kernel in use and use those settings as a "Base" to start with?

My real intent here is to replace the stock DVB drivers, I am "assuming" I know dangerous word that if I upgrade the kernel that would allow me to compile my DVB drivers and load them.

Currently I get an error when trying to 'make modules_install' I think due to a compatability issue???

I just spotted this from DVB

Kernel 2.6

There are two possibilities the get a DVB driver for kernel 2.6

* a separate driver
* the driver included in the kernel


The following kernel option has to be selected to get the kernel DVB driver. Either compiled into kernel or as kernel modules.

Device Drivers --->
Multimedia devices --->
Digital Video Broadcasting Devices --->[*] DVB For Linux
<*> DVB Core Support
--- Supported Frontend Modules
<*> (whatever is appropiate)

<*> AV7110 cards[*] Compile AV7110 firmware into the driver (NEW)[*] AV7110 OSD support

When the firmware should be compiled into the kernel and the above option is not visible, then

Code maturity level options --->
[ ] Select only drivers that don't need compile-time external firmware has to be deselected before.

Last edited by vbtalent; 11-19-2005 at 03:47 PM.
Old 11-19-2005, 04:46 PM   #4
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Uh, you do need to get the source. I did not know what distribution you ran, if it was Debian-based, then the apt-get command works. But you have FC4, which is Red Hat based and usually does not have apt installed. You just need to go to the add applications tool (I don't know what it's called in FC4) and select the "kernel source" package.

If you copy the .config file from /usr/src to /usr/src/linux and then enter "make oldconfig" then you will get the same configuration your current kernel is running. Then you type in "make menuconfig." Your DVB stuff tells you what you need to do with the menuconfig utility- which asterisks to put in and take out.
Old 11-19-2005, 06:22 PM   #5
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Omaha, NE
Distribution: Ubuntu 7, Fedora Core 4
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First, to p_kelchen, Fedora's equivalent to Apt is Yum. Packages can be downloaded and installed by running "yum install package-name" and secondly, Fedora doesn't seem to come with sudo configured. Instead, type "su -" and enter the root password if you want to run command line commands as if you were the root.

For the original poster, I think this guide would help you out quite a bit when it comes to compiling a kernel. Fedora's kernel source can be downloaded from the Red Hat web site... or possibly directly through Yum. However, it's been my experience that even if you use the source from Fedora and their .config file, you might still have some problems with things that are "standard" in downloaded Fedora kernels. For example, building your own kernel might break USB hot plugging for things like flash drives. But depending on what you are using the system for, that might not matter. I use Linux as a desktop system so nothing but downloaded kernels for me.

Old 11-22-2005, 03:29 PM   #6
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Mississippi, USA
Distribution: Fedora
Posts: 435

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I'm not sure I completely understand what the OP is trying to do, but if it's building one or more kernel modules in FC4, this link is helpful. See especially Section This is the method I used to modify and rebuild a kernel module for my network driver that was causing IPv6 problems.


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