Configuring the Linux Kernel

The Linux kernel source code is included among the CD-ROMs of your Linux distribution. Updated kernel source code is available online from your Linux vendor. Additionally, the latest kernel source code can be obtained from ftp://ftp.kernel.org/ or http://www.kernel.org/.

The Linux kernel is a C program, compiled and installed by make. A make command creates the Makefile needed to compile the kernel for your system. The make command used to compile the Linux kernel accepts a few arguments that control the type of user interface used to configure the kernel.

• make config runs a text-based configuration interface.

• make menuconfig runs a curses-based configuration interface that displays menu selections on text-based terminals.

• make xconfig runs an X Window System configuration interface.

• make oldconfig builds the new kernel using the configuration from your previous kernel build.

This chapter uses make xconfig to customize the kernel configuration. There are a huge number of kernel-configuration options. make xconfig provides a nice X interface that allows you to go directly to those parts of the configuration that you want to modify. The ability to ignore those configuration options you don't need and jump directly to those you do need is very useful.

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