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Old 08-26-2011, 03:18 PM
Ralf Jung
Default Building the kernel myself

Hi list,

I am trying to build the linux kernel myself... it's one of the things I
always wanted to do ;-) plus I submitted some bugerports against the kernel
and would like to test the patches there were written to fix them.

I found tons of documentation on the net, but most of it is horribly outdated.
Essentially there seem to be two methods:

a) installing kernel-package and then calling
make-kpkg --initrd kernel-image kernel-headers
in the source directory (I first forgot the --initrd, gave me quite a
headache^^). That seems to work fine, however it's doing a lot of black magic.
Also, each time I do this, it's touching the .config file resulting in a
complete re-build even if just some files changed.

b) Using "make deb-pkg". This gives me two more debian packages than make-kpkg
(with firmware and libc stuf), however both conflict or even replace existing
packages so I just ignore them. I also used to get dkms errors here, for some
reason these are gone now... whatever.
However, one problem remains: The linux-image package is *HUGE* (250MiB
compared to 20MiB when I use make-kpkg) and takes a considerable amount of
time to be created. The header-package is just 1MiB larger, I hardly care. The
initrd in /boot however is also five times the size (almost 60 MiB), slowing
down the boot quite noticeably.

I'd prefer to directly use "make deb-pkg" to have less black magic between me
and what's actually happening (and to be able to apply small patches without a
re-build). Is there anything I can do to make those files smaller? Obviously,
make-kpgk does something different than I do.

Kind regards,

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