The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System, Second Edition
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FreeBSD/Linux Kernel Cross Reference

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Name Size Last modified (GMT) Description
Folder Documentation/ 2009-05-27 19:05:28
Folder arch/ 2003-08-25 11:44:40
Folder crypto/ 2009-05-27 19:05:14
Folder drivers/ 2009-05-27 19:04:51
Folder fs/ 2009-05-27 19:04:47
Folder include/ 2003-08-25 11:44:44
Folder init/ 2009-05-27 19:04:26
Folder ipc/ 2009-05-27 19:04:25
Folder kernel/ 2009-05-27 19:04:25
Folder lib/ 2009-05-27 19:04:24
Folder mm/ 2009-05-27 19:04:24
Folder net/ 2009-05-27 19:04:20
Folder scripts/ 2009-05-27 19:04:20
File COPYING 18691 bytes 2002-08-03 00:39:42
File CREDITS 81782 bytes 2003-08-25 11:44:39
File MAINTAINERS 46953 bytes 2003-08-25 11:44:39
File Makefile 19024 bytes 2003-08-25 11:44:44
File README 14287 bytes 2003-08-25 11:44:39
File REPORTING-BUGS 2818 bytes 2003-06-13 14:51:29
File Rules.make 9291 bytes 2002-08-03 00:39:42

    1         Linux kernel release 2.4.xx
    3 These are the release notes for Linux version 2.4.  Read them carefully,
    4 as they tell you what this is all about, explain how to install the
    5 kernel, and what to do if something goes wrong. 
    9   Linux is a Unix clone written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with
   10   assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net.
   11   It aims towards POSIX compliance. 
   13   It has all the features you would expect in a modern fully-fledged
   14   Unix, including true multitasking, virtual memory, shared libraries,
   15   demand loading, shared copy-on-write executables, proper memory
   16   management and TCP/IP networking. 
   18   It is distributed under the GNU General Public License - see the
   19   accompanying COPYING file for more details. 
   23   Linux was first developed for 386/486-based PCs.  These days it also
   24   runs on ARMs, DEC Alphas, SUN Sparcs, M68000 machines (like Atari and
   25   Amiga), MIPS and PowerPC, and others.
   29  - There is a lot of documentation available both in electronic form on
   30    the Internet and in books, both Linux-specific and pertaining to
   31    general UNIX questions.  I'd recommend looking into the documentation
   32    subdirectories on any Linux FTP site for the LDP (Linux Documentation
   33    Project) books.  This README is not meant to be documentation on the
   34    system: there are much better sources available.
   36  - There are various README files in the Documentation/ subdirectory:
   37    these typically contain kernel-specific installation notes for some 
   38    drivers for example. See ./Documentation/00-INDEX for a list of what
   39    is contained in each file.  Please read the Changes file, as it
   40    contains information about the problems, which may result by upgrading
   41    your kernel.
   43  - The Documentation/DocBook/ subdirectory contains several guides for
   44    kernel developers and users.  These guides can be rendered in a
   45    number of formats:  PostScript (.ps), PDF, and HTML, among others.
   46    After installation, "make psdocs", "make pdfdocs", or "make htmldocs"
   47    will render the documentation in the requested format.
   49 INSTALLING the kernel:
   51  - If you install the full sources, put the kernel tarball in a
   52    directory where you have permissions (eg. your home directory) and
   53    unpack it:
   55                 gzip -cd linux-2.4.XX.tar.gz | tar xvf -
   57    Replace "XX" with the version number of the latest kernel.
   59    Do NOT use the /usr/src/linux area! This area has a (usually
   60    incomplete) set of kernel headers that are used by the library header
   61    files.  They should match the library, and not get messed up by
   62    whatever the kernel-du-jour happens to be.
   64  - You can also upgrade between 2.4.xx releases by patching.  Patches are
   65    distributed in the traditional gzip and the new bzip2 format.  To
   66    install by patching, get all the newer patch files, enter the
   67    top level directory of the kernel source (linux-2.4.xx) and execute:
   69                gzip -cd ../patch-2.4.xx.gz | patch -p1
   71    or
   72                bzip2 -dc ../patch-2.4.xx.bz2 | patch -p1
   74    (repeat xx for all versions bigger than the version of your current
   75    source tree, _in_order_) and you should be ok.  You may want to remove
   76    the backup files (xxx~ or xxx.orig), and make sure that there are no
   77    failed patches (xxx# or xxx.rej). If there are, either you or me has
   78    made a mistake.
   80    Alternatively, the script patch-kernel can be used to automate this
   81    process.  It determines the current kernel version and applies any
   82    patches found.
   84                 linux/scripts/patch-kernel linux
   86    The first argument in the command above is the location of the
   87    kernel source.  Patches are applied from the current directory, but
   88    an alternative directory can be specified as the second argument.
   90  - Make sure you have no stale .o files and dependencies lying around:
   92                 cd linux
   93                 make mrproper
   95    You should now have the sources correctly installed.
   99    Compiling and running the 2.4.xx kernels requires up-to-date
  100    versions of various software packages.  Consult
  101    ./Documentation/Changes for the minimum version numbers required
  102    and how to get updates for these packages.  Beware that using
  103    excessively old versions of these packages can cause indirect
  104    errors that are very difficult to track down, so don't assume that
  105    you can just update packages when obvious problems arise during
  106    build or operation.
  108 CONFIGURING the kernel:
  110  - Do a "make config" to configure the basic kernel.  "make config" needs
  111    bash to work: it will search for bash in $BASH, /bin/bash and /bin/sh
  112    (in that order), so one of those must be correct for it to work. 
  114    Do not skip this step even if you are only upgrading one minor
  115    version.  New configuration options are added in each release, and
  116    odd problems will turn up if the configuration files are not set up
  117    as expected.  If you want to carry your existing configuration to a
  118    new version with minimal work, use "make oldconfig", which will
  119    only ask you for the answers to new questions.
  121  - Alternate configuration commands are:
  122         "make menuconfig"  Text based color menus, radiolists & dialogs.
  123         "make xconfig"     X windows based configuration tool.
  124         "make oldconfig"   Default all questions based on the contents of
  125                            your existing ./.config file.
  127         NOTES on "make config":
  128         - having unnecessary drivers will make the kernel bigger, and can
  129           under some circumstances lead to problems: probing for a
  130           nonexistent controller card may confuse your other controllers
  131         - compiling the kernel with "Processor type" set higher than 386
  132           will result in a kernel that does NOT work on a 386.  The
  133           kernel will detect this on bootup, and give up.
  134         - A kernel with math-emulation compiled in will still use the
  135           coprocessor if one is present: the math emulation will just
  136           never get used in that case.  The kernel will be slightly larger,
  137           but will work on different machines regardless of whether they
  138           have a math coprocessor or not. 
  139         - the "kernel hacking" configuration details usually result in a
  140           bigger or slower kernel (or both), and can even make the kernel
  141           less stable by configuring some routines to actively try to
  142           break bad code to find kernel problems (kmalloc()).  Thus you
  143           should probably answer 'n' to the questions for
  144           "development", "experimental", or "debugging" features.
  146  - Check the top Makefile for further site-dependent configuration
  147    (default SVGA mode etc). 
  149  - Finally, do a "make dep" to set up all the dependencies correctly. 
  151 COMPILING the kernel:
  153  - Make sure you have gcc 2.95.3 available.  gcc 2.91.66 (egcs-1.1.2) may
  154    also work but is not as safe, and *gcc is no longer supported*.
  155    Also remember to upgrade your binutils package (for as/ld/nm and company)
  156    if necessary. For more information, refer to ./Documentation/Changes.
  158    Please note that you can still run a.out user programs with this kernel.
  160  - Do a "make bzImage" to create a compressed kernel image.  If you want
  161    to make a boot disk (without root filesystem or LILO), insert a floppy
  162    in your A: drive, and do a "make bzdisk".  It is also possible to do
  163    "make install" if you have lilo installed to suit the kernel makefiles,
  164    but you may want to check your particular lilo setup first. 
  166    To do the actual install you have to be root, but none of the normal
  167    build should require that. Don't take the name of root in vain.
  169  - In the unlikely event that your system cannot boot bzImage kernels you
  170    can still compile your kernel as zImage. However, since zImage support
  171    will be removed at some point in the future in favor of bzImage we
  172    encourage people having problems with booting bzImage kernels to report
  173    these, with detailed hardware configuration information, to the
  174    linux-kernel mailing list and to H. Peter Anvin <>.
  176  - If you configured any of the parts of the kernel as `modules', you
  177    will have to do "make modules" followed by "make modules_install".
  178    Read Documentation/modules.txt for more information.  For example,
  179    an explanation of how to use the modules is included there.
  181  - Keep a backup kernel handy in case something goes wrong.  This is 
  182    especially true for the development releases, since each new release
  183    contains new code which has not been debugged.  Make sure you keep a
  184    backup of the modules corresponding to that kernel, as well.  If you
  185    are installing a new kernel with the same version number as your
  186    working kernel, make a backup of your modules directory before you
  187    do a "make modules_install".
  189  - In order to boot your new kernel, you'll need to copy the kernel
  190    image (found in .../linux/arch/i386/boot/bzImage after compilation)
  191    to the place where your regular bootable kernel is found. 
  193    For some, this is on a floppy disk, in which case you can copy the
  194    kernel bzImage file to /dev/fd0 to make a bootable floppy.
  196    If you boot Linux from the hard drive, chances are you use LILO which
  197    uses the kernel image as specified in the file /etc/lilo.conf.  The
  198    kernel image file is usually /vmlinuz, /boot/vmlinuz, /bzImage or
  199    /boot/bzImage.  To use the new kernel, save a copy of the old image
  200    and copy the new image over the old one.  Then, you MUST RERUN LILO
  201    to update the loading map!! If you don't, you won't be able to boot
  202    the new kernel image.
  204    Reinstalling LILO is usually a matter of running /sbin/lilo. 
  205    You may wish to edit /etc/lilo.conf to specify an entry for your
  206    old kernel image (say, /vmlinux.old) in case the new one does not
  207    work.  See the LILO docs for more information. 
  209    After reinstalling LILO, you should be all set.  Shutdown the system,
  210    reboot, and enjoy!
  212    If you ever need to change the default root device, video mode,
  213    ramdisk size, etc.  in the kernel image, use the 'rdev' program (or
  214    alternatively the LILO boot options when appropriate).  No need to
  215    recompile the kernel to change these parameters. 
  217  - Reboot with the new kernel and enjoy. 
  221  - If you have problems that seem to be due to kernel bugs, please check
  222    the file MAINTAINERS to see if there is a particular person associated
  223    with the part of the kernel that you are having trouble with. If there
  224    isn't anyone listed there, then the second best thing is to mail
  225    them to me (, and possibly to any other
  226    relevant mailing-list or to the newsgroup.  The mailing-lists are
  227    useful especially for SCSI and networking problems, as I can't test
  228    either of those personally anyway. 
  230  - In all bug-reports, *please* tell what kernel you are talking about,
  231    how to duplicate the problem, and what your setup is (use your common
  232    sense).  If the problem is new, tell me so, and if the problem is
  233    old, please try to tell me when you first noticed it.
  235  - If the bug results in a message like
  237         unable to handle kernel paging request at address C0000010
  238         Oops: 0002
  239         EIP:   0010:XXXXXXXX
  240         eax: xxxxxxxx   ebx: xxxxxxxx   ecx: xxxxxxxx   edx: xxxxxxxx
  241         esi: xxxxxxxx   edi: xxxxxxxx   ebp: xxxxxxxx
  242         ds: xxxx  es: xxxx  fs: xxxx  gs: xxxx
  243         Pid: xx, process nr: xx
  244         xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx
  246    or similar kernel debugging information on your screen or in your
  247    system log, please duplicate it *exactly*.  The dump may look
  248    incomprehensible to you, but it does contain information that may
  249    help debugging the problem.  The text above the dump is also
  250    important: it tells something about why the kernel dumped code (in
  251    the above example it's due to a bad kernel pointer). More information
  252    on making sense of the dump is in Documentation/oops-tracing.txt
  254  - You can use the "ksymoops" program to make sense of the dump.  This
  255    utility can be downloaded from
  256    ftp://ftp.<country>
  257    Alternately you can do the dump lookup by hand:
  259  - In debugging dumps like the above, it helps enormously if you can
  260    look up what the EIP value means.  The hex value as such doesn't help
  261    me or anybody else very much: it will depend on your particular
  262    kernel setup.  What you should do is take the hex value from the EIP
  263    line (ignore the "0010:"), and look it up in the kernel namelist to
  264    see which kernel function contains the offending address.
  266    To find out the kernel function name, you'll need to find the system
  267    binary associated with the kernel that exhibited the symptom.  This is
  268    the file 'linux/vmlinux'.  To extract the namelist and match it against
  269    the EIP from the kernel crash, do:
  271                 nm vmlinux | sort | less
  273    This will give you a list of kernel addresses sorted in ascending
  274    order, from which it is simple to find the function that contains the
  275    offending address.  Note that the address given by the kernel
  276    debugging messages will not necessarily match exactly with the
  277    function addresses (in fact, that is very unlikely), so you can't
  278    just 'grep' the list: the list will, however, give you the starting
  279    point of each kernel function, so by looking for the function that
  280    has a starting address lower than the one you are searching for but
  281    is followed by a function with a higher address you will find the one
  282    you want.  In fact, it may be a good idea to include a bit of
  283    "context" in your problem report, giving a few lines around the
  284    interesting one. 
  286    If you for some reason cannot do the above (you have a pre-compiled
  287    kernel image or similar), telling me as much about your setup as
  288    possible will help. 
  290  - Alternately, you can use gdb on a running kernel. (read-only; i.e. you
  291    cannot change values or set break points.) To do this, first compile the
  292    kernel with -g; edit arch/i386/Makefile appropriately, then do a "make
  293    clean". You'll also need to enable CONFIG_PROC_FS (via "make config").
  295    After you've rebooted with the new kernel, do "gdb vmlinux /proc/kcore".
  296    You can now use all the usual gdb commands. The command to look up the
  297    point where your system crashed is "l *0xXXXXXXXX". (Replace the XXXes
  298    with the EIP value.)
  300    gdb'ing a non-running kernel currently fails because gdb (wrongly)
  301    disregards the starting offset for which the kernel is compiled.

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