Rebuilding the kernel for non-experts

Kernel Business

Article from Issue 69/2006

Worried about a recent security exploit? Want to take advantage of a new hardware feature? You don’t need to be a Linux expert to patch and compile the Linux kernel. We'll show you how to get started.

The kernel allocates memory to applications, controls access to the filesystem, and performs many other important tasks, but for most users, the kernel is always hiding behind a shell or a GUI. Ordinary users usually don’t need to tinker with the kernel. The Linux kernel, however, is actually quite visible – it resides in the /boot/vmlinuzkernelversion file. Depending on your distribution, the kernel can occupy 1 or 2MB on disk. But this single file is only part of the picture. The files below /lib/modules/[kernelversion] are just as much a part of the kernel. This directory weighs in at no less than 70MB on Suse 10.0, but not everything in this directory requires memory space. In fact, the modules in this directory are just loaded on demand.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Working with the Kernel

    If you work with third-party hardware drivers, or even if you just need to fix a broken system, someday you might need to upgrade the Linux kernel.


    Klaus Knopper is the creator of Knoppix and co-founder of the LinuxTag expo. He currently works as a teacher, programmer, and consultant. If you have a configuration problem, or if you just want to learn more about how Linux works, send your questions to: klaus@linux-magazine. com

  • Ext4

    The newest child in the Ext filesystem family provides better performance and supports bigger filesystems. Are you ready for Ext4?

  • Aufs2

    Add temporary write capability to a read-only device with the stacked filesystem aufs.

  • KSplice

    Uptime is often just as important as updates. But doesn't a kernel patch require a reboot? Ksplice lets you have your cake and eat it too.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Kernel_Tips.pdf (3.27 MB)


njobs Europe
Njobs Netherlands Njobs Deutschland Njobs United Kingdom Njobs Italia Njobs France Njobs Espana Njobs Poland
Njobs Austria Njobs Denmark Njobs Belgium Njobs Czech Republic Njobs Mexico Njobs India Njobs Colombia