9.3. Linux-2.6.19

The Linux package contains the Linux kernel.

9.3.1. Installation of the kernel

Building the kernel involves a few steps—configuration, compilation, and installation. Read the README file in the kernel source tree for alternative methods to the way this book configures the kernel.

Prepare for compilation by running the following command:

make mrproper

This ensures that the kernel tree is absolutely clean. The kernel team recommends that this command be issued prior to each kernel compilation. Do not rely on the source tree being clean after un-tarring.

Configure the kernel via a menu-driven interface. Please note that the udev bootscript requires "rtc" and "tmpfs" to be enabled and built into the kernel, not as modules. BLFS has some information regarding particular kernel configuration requirements of packages outside of CLFS at http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/view/svn/longindex.html#kernel-config-index:

[Note]

Note

Since we are building for an embedded system we need to make sure our key components are built into the kernel and not as modules. Our key components are console/video, disk, and network. With out these built in our system will not function properly. If your concerned about disk space, your kernel should be without modules.

make ARCH=i386 CROSS_COMPILE=${CLFS_TARGET}- menuconfig

Alternatively, make oldconfig may be more appropriate in some situations. See the README file for more information.

If desired, skip kernel configuration by copying the kernel config file, .config, from the host system (assuming it is available) to the root directory of the unpacked kernel sources. However, we do not recommend this option. It is often better to explore all the configuration menus and create the kernel configuration from scratch.

Compile the kernel image and modules:

make ARCH=i386 CROSS_COMPILE=${CLFS_TARGET}-

If using kernel modules, an /etc/modprobe.conf file may be needed. Information pertaining to modules and kernel configuration is located in the kernel documentation in the Documentation directory of the kernel sources tree. Also, modprobe.conf(5) may be of interest.

Be very careful when reading other documentation relating to kernel modules because it usually applies to 2.4.x kernels only. As far as we know, kernel configuration issues specific to Hotplug and Udev are not documented. The problem is that Udev will create a device node only if Hotplug or a user-written script inserts the corresponding module into the kernel, and not all modules are detectable by Hotplug. Note that statements like the one below in the /etc/modprobe.conf file do not work with Udev:

alias char-major-XXX some-module

Because of the complications with Udev and modules, we strongly recommend starting with a completely non-modular kernel configuration, especially if this is the first time using Udev.

Install the modules, if the kernel configuration uses them:

make ARCH=i386 CROSS_COMPILE=${CLFS_TARGET}- \
    INSTALL_MOD_PATH=${CLFS} modules_install

After kernel compilation is complete, additional steps are required to complete the installation. Some files need to be copied to the ${CLFS}/boot directory.

Issue the following command to install the kernel:

cp vmlinux ${CLFS}/boot/clfskernel-2.6.19

System.map is a symbol file for the kernel. It maps the function entry points of every function in the kernel API, as well as the addresses of the kernel data structures for the running kernel. Issue the following command to install the map file:

cp System.map ${CLFS}/boot/System.map-2.6.19

If we compiled our kernel with modules and we made sure depmod.pl is avaiable from busybox, we need to create the module dependency list by issuing the following command:

${CLFS}/cross-tools/bin/depmod.pl -F ${CLFS}/boot/System.map -b ${CLFS}/lib/modules/2.6.19

The kernel configuration file .config produced by the make menuconfig step above contains all the configuration selections for the kernel that was just compiled. It is a good idea to keep this file for future reference:

cp .config ${CLFS}/boot/config-2.6.19
[Warning]

Warning

Some kernel documentation recommends creating a symlink from /usr/src/linux pointing to the kernel source directory. This is specific to kernels prior to the 2.6 series and must not be created on an CLFS system as it can cause problems for packages you may wish to build once your base CLFS system is complete.

Also, the headers in the system's include directory should always be the ones against which Glibc was compiled (from the Linux-Headers package) and should never be replaced by the kernel headers.

The bootloaders section contains more information on how to configure the kernel for specifc bootloaders. Please refer to this section for your specific needs.

9.3.2. Contents of Linux

Installed files: config-[linux-version], clfskernel-[linux-version], and System.map-[linux-version]

Short Descriptions

config-[linux-version]

Contains all the configuration selections for the kernel

clfskernel-[linux-version]

The engine of the Linux system. When turning on the computer, the kernel is the first part of the operating system that gets loaded. It detects and initializes all components of the computer's hardware, then makes these components available as a tree of files to the software and turns a single CPU into a multitasking machine capable of running scores of programs seemingly at the same time.

System.map-[linux-version]

A list of addresses and symbols; it maps the entry points and addresses of all the functions and data structures in the kernel