Techniques for upgrading and customizing the Linux kernel


Installing a new kernel is not like installing a new version of OpenOffice, which will definitely add new features and enhancements to your everyday work. New major releases or experimental kernels often run slower and less smoothly because of side effects that have not been considered by the kernel developers. Unlike application software, a new kernel does not necessarily provide better service or more possibilities. If your current kernel is stable and runs smoothly and you have no sudden system resets, freezes, or "hangs," you should have no reason to believe that a new kernel will be an enormous improvement.

Unless you experience errors that are harmful in your usage scenario, just keep your old kernel and don't worry about being up to date. The primary reasons for upgrading the kernel are to correct a problem you are experiencing or to add new hardware that is not supported by the current kernel.

If you work with a variety of different hardware drivers, or even if you have the need to customize your system for a particular application or use, the techniques described in this article will help you get started with building and upgrading the Linux kernel.

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