Note

The make utility is a very complex program. Complete documentation on the structure of make files, as well as the arguments that it can accept, can be found at http://www.gnu.org/software/make/manual/make.html.

The remainder of the directories in /usr/src/iinux-2.6 contain the source code for the kernel and the kernel drivers. When you install the kernel sources, these files are placed there automatically. When you patch kernel sources, these files are altered automatically. When you compile the kernel, these files are accessed automatically. Although you never need to touch the source code files, they can be useful. The kernel source files are nothing more than text files with special formatting, which means that we can look at them and read the programmers' comments. Sometimes, a programmer will write an application, but cannot (or often will not) write the documentation. The comments he puts in the source code are often the only documentation that exists for the code.

Small testing programs are even "hidden" in the comments of some of the code, along with comments and references to other information. Because the source code is written in a language that can be read as easilyalmostas English, a non-programmer might be able to get an idea of what the application or driver is actually doing (see Chapter 30, "C/C++ Programming Tools for Ubuntu"). This information might be of use to an intermediate to advanced Linux user when he is confronted by kernel- and driver-related problems.

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