Have you ever compiled your own kernel?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by steve161, Jun 2, 2010.

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  1. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    How long did it take (from reading any instructions to installation)?
    How many tries until your system was bootable?
    A sense of accomplishment, or "I did this instead of the bookcase my honey wanted, what was I thinking"?

    I was just looking at some sites that addressed compiling (no, I am not even considering it) and am wondering about fellow members experiences and outcomes. Thanks in advance for all replies.
     
  2. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    During early days with SuSE 8 and PCLOS, on regular basis, I would use the performance kernel with ck patch.
     
  3. Trespasser

    Trespasser Registered Member

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    Yes, I've compiled my own kernel a few times in the past. On the system I had at that time it took a couple of hours. A fast computer reduces the time needed considerably. It also depends a lot on what options you choose or drivers you want included in the kernel. If you're really good at it you can customize a kernel just for the hardware you have. The first few times I tried it I really screwed it up good...but slowly I learned what to check and what not to check. I don't compile my kernels anymore...it's too time consuming...but the latest Maverick Meerkat kernel (2.6.34-5) weighs in at a whopping 103mbs so I may reconsider that decision.

    Later...
     
  4. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Speaking of kernels, there was an update at Lucid today, 2.6.32-22.5 here.
     
  5. steve161

    steve161 Registered Member

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    Yeah, just got it a little while ago. Funny, I thought most kernel updates move up a number. This one was the same 32-22 kernel.

    Edit: I see it is 2.6.32-22.5.
     
  6. Yes. On Gentoo. It's absolutely not worth it.

    (Neither is Gentoo.)
     
  7. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Put your flame suit on now........never ever delve into Arch and Gentoo bashing or get ready to be flamed to ashes.:D
     
  8. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

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    *Gasp* :D one of my favs (as are some of the Gentoo derived distros.) Gentoo is a dream come true : control over everything, stable, extremely active distro, did I mention control :)

    you'll be back, maybe.

    OP yes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  9. Trespasser

    Trespasser Registered Member

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    If you like compiling go with Gentoo. You get/have to compile everything under the sun...even the ham and eggs you had for breakfast. ;).

    To be a Gentoo fanatic you're bound to have a strong strain of masochism running through your psyche. :D .

    Later...
     
  10. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    I did it as an educational exercise.
    But I think it's a useless activity.
    Mrk
     
  11. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    I have compiled kernel as recently as Intrepid and found no significant improvement over stock kernel, that means the guys at the disto are doing a fairly good job of optimizing, also when you run your own kernel, you loose all the patches that the distro team applies, some of them deal with security and stability and therefore compiling your own is good as a learning experiene but not required for performance gain.
     
  12. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    I have had to recompile the Ubuntu kernel in order to build a PAE Live CD for a 4GB RAM populated system. That effort suceeded, but I was unable to confirm it due to the fact that even though I have a PAE enabled processor, my motherboard and BIOS did not support it (memory remapping/hoisting). I have since purchased a MB that will accomodate up to 8GB of RAM which I have yet to purchase and will then put the new MB together in order to utilize the memory remapping/hoisting features which should allow up to at least 7GB of RAM to be utilized.

    Note: Turn off kernel debugging unless you want a debugging-kernel.

    I did not find it to be a useless activity (I started my career as a compiler/OS engineer), so it was informative with regard to capturing the knowledge on how to do it for Ubuntu.

    -- Tom
     
  13. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Tom,

    Why not use x64 Ubuntu instead unless your CPU is not x64 compatible.
     
  14. apathy

    apathy Registered Member

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    I remember building my own kernel on a 386 sx, it took all night long.
    Back then you had to build kernels as they didn't contain much that
    supported specific types of PCs.

    Make world baby!!
     
  15. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    Hi linuxforall,

    I have an Intel D925ECV2 MB w/P4-32bit (4GB RAM max), and the new MB is an Intel DP965LT which is compatible with the P4 (which has PAE enabled), but due to the BIOS limitations of reserved RAM in the current MB can only make available 3GB for the user.

    -- Tom

    P.S. It only took about 2 hours to build the PAE kernel which needed to activate the 64GB large parameters.
     
  16. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

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    I've compiled many kernels when I used Gentoo (which basically requires you compile the kernel). The length of time it takes varies on how much stuff you include in the compile. I usually stripped mine to the bare essentials, so it compiled fairly quickly (about 10 minutes on a dual core Athlon). If I were to recompile my Ubuntu kernel with all of the default options, it would take much longer (because ubuntu includes everything and the kitchen sink in their default kernel).

    If you have modern hardware, I see little reason to compile the kernel (again unless you use something like Gentoo). There isn't much of a performance benefit and size is definitely not an issue as you will only gain a few MB's.
     
  17. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Thats what I thought Tom, you have to be running a x32 CPU, well then PAE kernel is the only way to go. For PAE, PCLOS does an excellent job as they don't have a x64 version so depend on that for systems with more than 3GB RAM.
     
  18. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    Hi linuxforall,

    PCLOS, or any other OS, won't make any difference in my case w/4GB RAM. That is because, as I explained, the BIOS in my current MB only allows up to 3GB RAM marked as usable and does not have memory remapping/hoisting, i.e. the RAM between 3-4GB is reserved for various reasons. I do have a python script (from SanderJ at Ubuntu forums) that informs the user of just what is available (see attachment).

    Note: Change the attachment name from
    check-my-hardware.py.txt to check-my-hardware.py and run it as follows:
    $ sudo python check-my-hardware.py

    Looks like attachments do not work for some reason (may be my browser settings or cookies - I'm also having this problem at another website).

    Tried logout, login to reset my cookies, but the Manage Attachments button does not seem to work for me and neither does resetting popups to not block in my FF 3.6.3 browser. Stumped for now on this issue - need to investigate further.

    -- Tom
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
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