How to compile a kernel on a Linux Debian ?

The moment that you need to add some modules in the kernel which are not compiled in by default you will notice that there is a need to compile a Kernel.

In order to compile your kernel. There are steps you need to take to compile your own as follow:
Start by downloading the kernel source from and place it to /usr/src or get it from the apt repository.

#apt-get source linux-image

You will need to install some extra packages:

#apt-get install fakeroot kernel-package libncurses5-dev

The downloaded image should be located  in /usr/src.
If you had downloaded the package from the package will be most probably archived wtih bzip2 so you will need to unpack it.:

#tar -xvJf linux-3.17.tar.xz 
#cd linux-3.17/

Use configure the kernel. Best we start with the configuration file of the current setup. To do that use the following command:

Run make menuconfig to add the new modules you need to r

#cp /boot/config-`uname -r` .config

Select the modules you need and save the configuration file before you exit.

It is time to start the compilation. First we need to clean the source.

#make-kpkg clean

Before we start building the new kernel it is a good idea to set the new concurrency level.

The maximum which can be set is equal with the number of cores your system have +1. For example if you have a 4 core cpu then the concurency level is equal with 5. Setting the concurrency level will significantly shorten he new kernel’s compilation time.


Now lets build the new kernel.

#fakeroot make-kpkg --append-to-version "-customkernel" --revision "1" initrd kernel_image kernel_headers

With --append-to-version you set a custom description in the kernel name. The --revision would set the revision version of the build.
After the kernel is compiled the new packages will be found in /usr/src.

You can install them by running the following command:

/usr/src# dpkg -i linux-image-3.17.0-customkernel_1_amd64.deb /usr/src# dpkg -i linux-headers-3.17.0-customkernel_1_amd64.deb

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