old-fashioned kernel upgrading

I keep the kernel on my Linux box fairly up to date. With more or less every point release, after my distro, Gentoo, has released a fairly ‘mature’ patched version, I upgrade. However, I’m thinking that I’m using some pretty old fashioned technqiues in doing so. For example I manually configure the kernel, my boot loader is LILO, and I do not use any of the distro’s helpers.

My usual procedure is:

copy the old config direct from /PROC and using the ‘oldconfig’ option update the config with all new options for the new kernel. Since I rarely leave this more than 1 version difference there’s generally only 20 or so differences:

cp /proc/config.gz
gunzip config.gz
cp config /usr/src/NEWKERNEL/.config
cd /usr/src/NEWKERNEL
make oldconfig

Once that’s done I compile the kernel using the bzImage image, and compile the modules and install them at the same time.

make bzImage && make modules && make modules_install

Incidentally that double ampersand is a cool shortcut. If the previous command ends with an error it does not run.

Once compiled, I change the /usr/src/linux link to the new kernel, copy it to the boot folder, add the new kernel to the lilo.conf file, run lilo, n reboot with prayer to whatever humanist non-deity you don’t believe in!

rm /usr/src/linux
ln -s /usr/src/NEWKERNEL linux
vi /etc/lilo.conf

Incidentally if you use a distro that stores the Linux headers, or rather iuses the kernel ones, in /usr/src/linux, then be careful changing this link. Luckily the distro I use stores these in another place, so you can upgrade kernels willy nilly, without affecting what glibc is compiled with.

New House New blog? How 2008 is that?

So the new house is ours (well 4 weeks now, but what with Crimbo etc….). Since this is going to be a fairly long renovation/rebuild there’s a blog to show it all! If you’re at all interested please visit, although you might want to wait until there’s some content!

In the meantime here’s a picture of my office to be! img_4730