10.2 What You Need to Build a Kernel

10.2 What You Need to Build a Kernel

As with any package, the kernel source includes documentation explaining what you need to compile a functional kernel. These three aspects of your system are particularly important for building a kernel:

  • A C compiler (gcc). Most distributions put the C compiler in a development tools package. Make sure that your C compiler agrees with the recommendations in the kernel source code, specifically the README file. Kernel developers have not been eager to adopt the latest versions of gcc. Some distributions have a separate compiler named kgcc for compiling the kernel.

  • Disk space. A new kernel source tree can easily unpack to more than 100MB even before building any object files.

  • A relatively fast computer with plenty of memory. Otherwise, the compile will take some time.

Your first step is to get the source code.