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Compiling a Linux Kernel (Ubuntu)

For most Linux administrators, updating a kernel is done through the package manager for the Linux distribution that is being used. However, there can be situations where a particular kernel version or specific kernel configurations are needed. In this lab, you will be tasked with downloading the full kernel source tree, updating the kernel configuration to certain specifications, and then compiling a new kernel image.

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Path Info

Clock icon Intermediate
Clock icon 45m
Clock icon Apr 03, 2020

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Table of Contents

  1. Challenge

    Enable source URIs for apt repositories.

    1. Open the sources.lst file in /etc/apt/:
    vim /etc/apt/sources.lst
    1. Uncomment deb-src URIs manually or by substitution — :%s/# deb-src/deb-src/g

    2. Resynchronize the package index files:

    apt-get update
  2. Challenge

    Install dependencies

    1. Install additional dependencies:
    apt-get install -y make gcc libncurses5-dev dpkg-dev build-essential bison flex libssl-dev libelf-dev
  3. Challenge

    Download the Kernel source tree to /usr/src

    1. Switch to the /usr/src directory:
    cd /usr/src/
    1. Download the kernel source tree:
    apt-get install -y linux-source kernel-package
    1. Select the following option:
    keep the local versions currently installed
  4. Challenge

    Update the kernel configuration

    1. Switch to the kernel source tree directory and extract the archive:
    cd /usr/src/linux-source-[kernel_version]
    tar jxvf linux-source-[kernel_version].tar.bz2
    mv linux-source-[kernel_version]/* .
    rm -rf ./linux-source-[kernel_version]/
    1. Get the necessary packages
    apt-get build-dep -y linux-source
    mkdir debian/stamps
    1. Update the kernel configuration with the make menuconfig command:
    cp /boot/config-$(uname -r) .config
    yes '' | make oldconfig
    make menuconfig
    1. Navigate with your arrow keys and use enter to go to Device Drivers > Block devices
    2. Using the “n” key, exclude the following two drivers - DRBD Distributed Replicated Block Device support and Packet writing on CD/DVD media (DEPRECATED)
    3. Exit the menu and save your configuration changes.
    4. Prepare to compile the Kernel:
    make clean
  5. Challenge

    Compile the kernel image (this step can take 15-20 minutes to complete)

    1. Create the compressed kernel image by calling the bzImage target:
    make bzImage

    Note: This can take 15-20 minutes to complete

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