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Old 01-21-2003, 11:50 AM   #1
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Question .config question

Good Morning and well met,

New Linux Newbie here! I am a technician by trade and problems and solving them are what drive me. I have read every kernel compiling section on the website and followed almost all of them to the letter but I have not been 100% successful as of yet.

I installed RH8 fresh and clean, updated all files except for the kernel. I downloaded the most current kernel (2.4.20) from and gave compiling a shot. I followed the "20 steps for compiling for Grub" instructions step-by-step. It has me to pull the i686.config file from the configs folder and drop it into the new source directory to begin the make config. I tried that and everything seemed to compile correctly but upon reboot there were all kinds of errors about detecting things that arent in my PC and not detecting things that are, ie USB keyboard and mouse.

Other guides have shown to use the .config file from your current working kernel source directory. I looked in the linux-2.4.18-14 directory (I did change the option to view hidden .xxxx files ) and I didnt see one in there at all. Thats why I went ahead and used the i686 config that the instructions told me to. I also used make oldconfig since I'm still very new to this and I didnt want to leave out anything that my system should have already detected.

So my question is this: Where does a fresh install of RH8 store the .config file that was used to compile the stock kernel when I installed? Also, the stock RH8 install has an initrd-Linux-2.4.18-14.img referenced in Grub and its present in the /boot partition but the compiling instructions make no reference to this file when making from a new source. Is this a needed file to function correctly?

Thanks in advance for any assistance,

Old 01-21-2003, 04:13 PM   #2
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Well I am sure someone will let me know if I am wrong, but there is no config file from a fresh install. Redhat is a binary installation, including the kernel. Redhat puts 'everything' in the kernel, in the form of modules, thusly ensuring that it will work on the vast majority of computers and hardware. So the config file is on the computer at Redhat inc that was used to build this kernel in question....

Compiling a kernel from scratch does not create a initrd.img file. It is not neccesary.

I think what happened...when you used this method you did a "make oldconfig" right, and what it did was just use the defaults. I think you may have to do the "make config" or "make xconfig" or "make menuconfig" manually. By the way, the .config file will be in the top level directory of the source tree.

Again though, I might be wrong, and I am sure someone will point that out...

Last edited by bulliver; 01-21-2003 at 04:18 PM.
Old 01-21-2003, 04:56 PM   #3
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How could you be so wrong?

Just kidding I once came upon a .config file in my /lib/modules/<kernelversion> subdirectory, I was in no need to see if it would serve as a .config for my kernel so I never gave it a try. However, it might be something to look at if you are interested.

Old 01-21-2003, 04:58 PM   #4
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Installation .configs

Originally posted by bulliver
Well I am sure someone will let me know if I am wrong, but there is no config file from a fresh install. Redhat is a binary installation, including the kernel.

Try looking in ``/usr/src/linux-x.x/configs'' on your RH system. There's a set of config files, one of which should correspond to the kernel that was installed on the system from the CDs. Find the appropriate one and copy it to ``/usr/src/linux-x.x/.config''. (Pity, though, that RH didn't make it more obvious which one of these belongs to which kernel image on the CD.)

Or you could just rebuild the kernel using the instructions in the customization guide and be done with it. Then you /know/ you've got the correct .config.


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