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Old 03-31-2003, 10:27 AM   #1
Linus VanPelt
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Manchester, NH, USA
Distribution: SuSE 9.1
Posts: 73

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Recompiling kernel - not for the faint of heart?

It looks like I may need to recompile my kernel to add support for mounting an NTFS partition read-only under Linux. I am not on my box right now, so I can't confirm that I don't have support, but I think the last time I tried I think I followed instructions properly and discovered I don't have NTFS support in my kernel. (I need to do some more checking, so this may not be necessary, but it doesn't alter my core question).

My question in particular is this: when you need to add kernel support for a particular service/action/device/whatever, do you need to recompile the whole thing, or is there a way to "add on" the support?

My main concern is that I currently don't have any way of backing up my system (CD-RW not yet installed, working on it), so I don't want to do anything major that will possibly trash my Linux installation and make me have to start from scratch. (The whirring of the CD drive tends to get boring after a while).
Old 03-31-2003, 10:39 AM   #2
Registered: Sep 2002
Distribution: Slackware 8.1
Posts: 84

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compilation and installation of a new kernel does not prevent you're system from working even if the new kernel doesn't IF you keep a copy of you're old kernel somewhere and make an appropirate entry in you're bootloader.

I for example keep a stable kernel under
an bare kernel (in case i mess with the hardware and the currently stable becomes unstable) under
and new (experimental) kernels are installed to /boot

I would suggest copy you're kernel to one of those directories and change you're bootmanager. In case something goes wrong you can still boot with a cd and fix it.

When this is done properly I suggest you compile you're new kernel, make an appropirate entry in you're bootmanager and try it out. If it doesn't work boot the old one and goto build.

hope this helps.

btw the kernel is usually called vmlinuz or, if you copy it directly from the kernel source (without make install) it's called bzImage.
You might want copy along with the kernel.
Old 03-31-2003, 10:41 AM   #3
LQ Guru
Registered: Mar 2002
Location: Salt Lake City, UT - USA
Distribution: Gentoo ; LFS ; Kubuntu
Posts: 12,612

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You can safely "test" kernel while still keeping your old one in tact, you just add another entry in your boot loader.

However, yes (assuming you installed kernel sources from your install CD), you can simply fire up make xconfig, skip to the section on whatever you need, change it from N to M, make dep, make modules. Then copy the module over to the /lib/modules directory in the appropriate sub dir. OR, you can make modules_install and hope for the best (I prefer the copy method, however, you can do whatever you feel comfy with).

Old 03-31-2003, 12:36 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2003
Posts: 804

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you dont need to recompile. doing this is very easy as someone explained to me in another thread, here is the link and it explains exactly how to fix this:

follow the link given to me by rmartine for the drivers u need.


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