Why Do We Need to Build a Linux Kernel from Scratch?
The compilation of the Linux kernel from scratch code is a fundamental skill. When we start on this installation, we are preparing to dive into the deep elements of the Linux kernel. Therefore, we improve our overall understanding of its inner workings. We get the ability to modify our Linux kernel according to our needs and requirements. This ability becomes very useful when developing new system functions as it enables the experimental features that aren’t enabled by default and provides many more options.
Basic Requirements to Build a Linux Kernel
We just need the following requirements to build the Linux kernel:
- Linux Operating System: Installed Linux OS in your computer.
- Command Line Access: We must know the use of the terminal/command line to execute the required steps during the kernel building process.
- Sudo or Root Privileges: We must make sure that our user account has “sudo” or “root” privileges to perform the system-level tasks.
- Enough Disk Space: We must need at least 10 GB of available disk space to install the Linux kernel.
- Required Packages: We must install these important packages such as Git, Fakeroot, Build-Essential, Ncurses-Dev, XZ-Utils, LibSSL-Dev, BC, Flex, LibElf-Dev, and Bison.
Steps to Build a Linux Kernel from Scratch
Here are the steps to follow:
1. Download the Latest Kernel Version
At first, we need to download the latest kernel version from the official site.
2. Extract the Kernel Code
We can extract it using the “tar” command after the source code is downloaded in our Linux.
3. Install All the Required Packages
We can use the following command in our Linux terminal to install the required packages:
4. Configure the Kernel in Our Terminal
This downloaded kernel has all the default configuration. We can start by navigating to the kernel directory using the “cd” command in our terminal.
After that, we need to copy the existing Linux config file to the kernel directory.
We can make changes to the configuration. To make the changes, we can use the “make menuconfig” command which opens an interactive configuration menu. Here, we can select various options including firmware, file systems, and network settings.
5. Build the Kernel Using the “Make” Command
Now, we can use the following command to start the kernel building process:
This step compiles the kernel. This compilation may take several minutes.
6. Install the Modules and Kernel
After the successful compilation, we can finally install the modules and kernel. This step ensures that the necessary modules are in place for the new kernel.
Finally, we can install the kernel and related configuration files to the “/boot” directory and generate a “system.map”.
We can make a Linux kernel from scratch with the help of our Linux OS. We get the idea to reconfigure and explore more opportunities by understanding how to build a Linux kernel from scratch. By understanding this article, we can improve our overall skill in modifying the kernel.
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