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Beginning Kernel Hacking

Link to this post 15 Aug 09

easiest thing to do would be get a linux distro with the config file exported to /proc as 'config.gz'

(by default) some distributions already have this enabled in the kernel before they release (slackware) :)

next step would be
cd /usr/src
wget http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v2.6/linux-2.x.xx.x.tar.bz2
tar xvjf linux-2.x.xx.x.tar.bz2
cd linux-2.x.xx.x.tar.bz2
zcat /proc/config.gz > $PWD/.config
make oldconfig;make menuconfig
>make oldconfig may or may not ask you if you'd like enable certain >new features
make menuconfig and edit in our out what you need and dont need
exit and save

cd src modules or whatever and look around.
change whatever you feel you can and are able to change really

cd /usr/src/linux-whatever

make modules; make modules_install

cp System.map /boot;cd arch/i386/boot/;cp bZimage /boot/kernel-whatever

add lines (if you use it) to lilo
image = /boot/kernel-whatever
root = /dev/hda1
label = whatever
read-only

lilo

reboot.

(not saying you don't know how to recompile a kernel, as kernel hacking goes -- you've got alot of lines to go through, have fun :P)

if anythings wrong, you'll know with a kernel panic :>

Link to this post 17 Aug 09

Hi everyone, I'm overwhelmed by the great responses, thanks!

Rubberman - Thanks for your motivation to keep me with VirtualBox. I'm using OS X 10.5 as a host at the moment which is as stable OS as I know. Presumably if that becomes a problem I can just backup the machine image and use it in Virtualbox on a different host?
Thanks for the links also. I'll get reading.

N.D, Josh, Tim - Gentoo seems like a common suggestion so I'll get that and get it installed.

Hi Bradford - Unfortunately I think hiding the file hierarchy will contradict the aims of the project but thanks for the suggestion. I will take a look at the projects you mentioned though :)

Ajay - Thanks for the little walkthrough. I have managed to get as far as compiling the kernel in a ubuntu distro but nothing seemed to be different after the edit/recompile/install/reboot process. I will try again with your advice once I get this system set up and stable!

My original post came across like i just want to throw in random bits of code and see what happens, not the case! Hopefully it will be a bit more planned than that.

As for where I'm focusing attention, I plan to look into doing some VFS modification for the benefit of simplification for the user when browsing directories and such-like. Purely experimental for the project I mentioned. When I get something working as intended I can post back here ;)

In the meantime, thanks for the advice. I've got plenty to be getting on with but I'm sure I'll be back here for some more help at some point!

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