Note

Several choices of directives exist, although the most common ones are as follows: zimage This directive compiles the kernel, creating an uncompressed file called zimage.

bzimage This directive creates a compressed kernel image necessary for some systems that require the kernel image to be under a certain size for the BIOS to be able to parse them; otherwise, the new kernel will not boot. It is the most commonly used choice. However, the Ubuntu kernel compiled with bzimage is still too large to fit on a floppy, so a smaller version with some modules and features removed is used for the boot floppies. Ubuntu recommends that you boot from the rescue CD-ROM.

bzDisk This directive does the same thing as bzimage, but it copies the new kernel image to a floppy disk for testing purposes. This is helpful for testing new kernels without writing kernel files to your hard drive. Make sure that you have a floppy disk in the drive because you will not be prompted for one.

10. Run make modules to compile any modules your new kernel needs.

11. Run make modules_install to install the modules in /lib/modules and create dependency files.

12. Run make install to automatically copy the kernel to /boot, create any other files it needs, and modify the bootloader to boot the new kernel by default.

13. Using your favorite text editor, verify the changes made to /etc/lilo.conf or /boot/grub/grub.conf; fix if necessary and rerun /sbin/lilo if needed.

14. Reboot and test the new kernel.

15. Repeat the process if necessary, choosing a Configuration Interface.

Over time, the process for configuring the Linux kernel has changed. Originally, you configured the kernel by responding to a series of prompts for each configuration parameter (this is the make config utility described shortly). Although you can still configure Linux this way, most users find this type of configuration confusing and inconvenient; moving back through the prompts to correct errors, for instance, is impossible.

The make config utility is a command-line tool. The utility presents a question regarding kernel configuration options. The user responds with a y, n, m, or ?. (It is not case sensitive.) Choosing m configures the option to be compiled as a module. A response of ? displays context help for that specific options, if available. (If you choose ? and no help is available, you can turn to the vast Internet resources to find information.) We recommend that you avoid the make config utility, shown in Figure 35.1.

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