kernel-package - system for creating kernel related packages
package grew out of desire to automate the routine
steps required to compile and install a custom kernel. If you are looking for
instructions on how to use kernel-package
, please have a look at the
(1). Configuring instructions are to be found in
- i) Convenience.
- I used to compile kernels manually, and it involved a
series of steps to be taken in order; kernel-package was written to take
all the required steps (it has grown beyond that now, but essentially,
that is what it does). This is especially important to novices:
make-kpkg takes all the steps required to compile a kernel, and
installation of kernels is a snap.
- ii) Multiple images support
- It allows you to keep multiple version of kernel images on
your machine with no fuss.
- iii) Multiple Flavors of the same kernel
- It has a facility for you to keep multiple flavors of the
same kernel version on your machine (you could have a stable 2.0.36
version, and a 2.0.36 version patched with the latest drivers, and not
worry about contaminating the modules in /lib/modules).
- iv) Built in defaults
- It knows that some architectures do not have vmlinuz (using
vmlinux instead), and other use zImage rather than bzImage, and calls the
appropriate target, and takes care of moving the correct file into
- v) Module hooks
- Several other kernel module packages are hooked into
kernel-package, so one can seamlessly compile, say, pcmcia
modules at the same time as one compiles a kernel, and be assured that the
modules so compiled are compatible.
- vi) dpkg support
- It enables you to use the package management system to keep
track of the kernels created. Using make-kpkg creates a .deb file, and
dpkg can track it for you. This facilitates the task of other packages
that depend on the kernel packages.
- vii) Configuration tracking
- It keeps track of the configuration file for each kernel
image in /boot, which is part of the image package, and hence is
the kernel image and the configuration file are always together.
- viii) Multiple config files
- It allows you to specify a directory with config files,
with separate config files for each sub-architecture (even allows for
different config files for i386, i486, etc). It is really neat for people
who need to compile kernels for a variety of sub architectures.
- ix) Auxiliary kernel .deb packages
- It allows one to create a package with the headers, or the
sources, also as a deb file, and enables the package management system to
keep track of those (and there are packages that depend on the package
management system being aware of these packages).
- x) Maintainer script services
- Since the kernel image package is a full fledged Debian
package, it comes with maintainer scripts, which allow the user to add
hook scripts to run when the package status changes.
- xi) Sub architecture support
- There is support for the multitudinous sub architectures
that have blossomed under the umbrella of the m68k and power-PC
- xii) Portable kernel images
- Allows one to compile a kernel for another computer, for
example using a fast machine to compile the kernel for installation on a
slower machine. This is really nice since the modules are all included in
the .deb; and one does not have to deal with modules manually.
- xiii) runtime hooks
- The preinst, postinst, prerm and the postrm scripts allow
the local admin on the installation machine to add a script into runtime
hooks; this can allow, amongst other things, grub users to add and remove
kernel image stanzas from the grub menu (example scripts to do this are in
the package). There are directories under /etc/kernel where related
packages may drop off scripts that will be run by the maintainer scripts
of the packages created by kernel package. Before running these scripts,
the environment variable KERNEL_PACKAGE_VERSION shall be set to the
version of the kernel-package that created the package.
- xiv) Append descriptive bits to the kernel
- One can append to the kernel version on the command line,
or by setting an environment variable. So if your kernel is called
kernel-image-2.4.1John.Home; it is unlikely to be overridden by the
official 2.4.1 kernel, since they are not the same version.
- i) Automation.
- This is a cookie cutter approach to compiling kernels, and
there are people who like being close to the bare metal.
- ii) Non traditional
- This is not how it is done in the non-Debian world. This
flouts tradition. (It has been pointed out, though, that this is fast
becoming Debian tradition).
- iii) Needs superuser
- It forces you to use fakeroot or sudo or
super or be root to create a kernel image .deb file (this is not as
bad as it used to be before fakeroot).
(1), The GNU Make manual
There are no bugs. Any resemblance thereof is delirium. Really.
This manual page was written by Manoj Srivastava <email@example.com>,
for the Debian GNU/Linux system.