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1 <?xml version='1.0' encoding="UTF-8"?>
2 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/genkernel.xml,v 1.22 2005/08/11 09:59:36 plasmaroo Exp $ -->
3 <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
5 <guide link="/doc/en/genkernel.xml">
6 <title>Gentoo Linux Genkernel Guide</title>
8 <author title="Author">
9 <mail link="plasmaroo@gentoo.org">Tim Yamin</mail>
10 </author>
12 <!-- folajimi@speakeasy.net -->
13 <author title="Contributor">
14 Jimi Ayodele
15 </author>
17 <!-- thseiler@gmail.com -->
18 <author title="NFS Support">
19 Thomas Seiler
20 </author>
22 <abstract>
23 This guide intends to provide a reference of all the functions provided by
24 genkernel.
25 </abstract>
27 <license/>
29 <version>1.4.1</version>
30 <date>2005-08-11</date>
32 <chapter>
33 <title>Introduction</title>
34 <section>
35 <title>Rationale</title>
36 <body>
38 <p>
39 For users who are not privy to kernel compilation, genkernel is a tool to
40 automate this process. It can help you create a kernel image akin to those
41 available on Gentoo Installation CDs, which are designed to auto-detect the
42 hardware configuration of your system. Some users may also be interested in
43 using genkernel for hardware requiring initialization and a working kernel
44 before the system starts up. Since genkernel automatically compiles your kernel
45 modules, you can use hardware that may require certain module parameters to be
46 loaded for proper operation.
47 </p>
49 </body>
50 </section>
51 <section>
52 <title>Target Audience</title>
53 <body>
55 <p>
56 If you are either uncertain about how to compile a kernel, or are just
57 unfamiliar with your hardware configuration, genkernel is a very handy tool.
58 It is designed to take the pain out of the kernel compiling process, and
59 supports most hardware by default.
60 </p>
62 <p>
63 However, if you know what drivers are required by your system, you may be able
64 to further reduce the time taken to compile the kernel. This is possible since
65 you can direct genkernel to only build drivers relevant to your hardware.
66 Oftentimes, the number of drivers required by your system will be fewer
67 (implying a shorter kernel compilation time) than the default configuration
68 provides.
69 </p>
71 </body>
72 </section>
73 <section>
74 <title>Installing genkernel</title>
75 <body>
77 <p>
78 To obtain genkernel, run <c>emerge genkernel</c> from the command line. If you
79 are using the <uri
80 link="/doc/en/handbook/2005.0/hb-install-about.xml#doc_chap2_sect1"> Gentoo
81 Reference Platform</uri> (GRP), remember to install binary packages by passing
82 the <c>-k</c> flag to emerge. Since the GRP is bundled with an older version of
83 genkernel, the flags may be different. In any case, consult <c>genkernel
84 --help</c> for help on how to use the version of genkernel installed on your
85 system.
86 </p>
88 </body>
89 </section>
90 </chapter>
92 <chapter>
93 <title>Working with genkernel</title>
94 <section>
95 <title>How to use genkernel</title>
96 <body>
98 <p>
99 Although there are several ways to run genkernel, the least-intrusive approach
100 is provided by <c>genkernel all</c>. Here, a generic configuration which works
101 well for most systems is used. As was mentioned earlier, this approach is not
102 without drawbacks; most of the modules created are useless to the average user
103 and may increase compile time. Below is an illustration of a more efficient
104 approach, achieved by passing certain flags to genkernel as root:
105 </p>
107 <pre caption="Running genkernel (with flags)">
108 # <i>genkernel --bootsplash --no-install --no-clean --menuconfig all</i>
109 </pre>
111 <p>
112 The above operation causes genkernel to create a bootsplash-enabled kernel
113 (<c>--bootsplash</c>) that will have to be manually installed
114 (<c>--no-install</c>). While preparing the kernel source tree, genkernel will
115 refrain from cleaning out any preexisting object files present in the source
116 tree (<c>--no-clean</c>). A menu-driven kernel configuration utility will be
117 displayed that allows the user to select which modules will be built for the
118 system (<c>--menuconfig</c>).
119 </p>
121 <p>
122 There are other flags which alter the result provided by genkernel. For
123 instance, replacing <c>--no install</c> with the <c>--install</c> flag allows
124 genkernel to automatically install the new kernel in the <path>/boot</path>
125 directory. Using the <c>--mountboot</c> flag allows genkernel to mount your
126 <path>/boot</path> partition automatically, if necessary.
127 </p>
129 <p>
130 Remember, genkernel is designed to make kernel compilation easy and
131 stress-free. For this reason, genkernel features several flags to ease the
132 kernel compilation effort. For example, there are flags to help with kernel
133 configuration, while others affect the actual compilation. Some flags even help
134 debug the compilation process. For those interested in further optimization,
135 there are flags that affect kernel assembling, packaging and even kernel
136 initialization.
137 </p>
139 <p>
140 The rest of this chapter examines the functionality of various flags and
141 actions available for genkernel. Some of the flags have variants which perform
142 a converse operation. The converse variants carry the <b><c>no-</c></b> prefix,
143 and their effects are enclosed within the square brackets, [].
144 </p>
146 </body>
147 </section>
149 <section>
150 <title>Configuration Flags</title>
151 <body>
153 <p>
154 The configuration flags listed below exist to help you decide what features
155 should be enabled or disabled in the kernel prior to compilation. You can even
156 choose whether or not the configuration file created in the process should be
157 saved. The following are the primary configuration flags:
158 </p>
160 <ul>
161 <li>
162 <b>--<c>no-</c>menuconfig</b>: Activates <e>[or deactivates]</e> the
163 <c>make menuconfig</c> command (which invokes an interactive, menu-based
164 kernel configuration utility), before building the kernel.
165 </li>
166 <li>
167 <b>--gconfig</b>: Provides a kernel configuration utility which depends on
168 the GTK+ libraries. The advantage of this option is that most users find it
169 easier and clearer to configure the kernel using this tool, since it relies
170 on the X-windowing system. The disadvantage of this option is that you
171 <b>need</b> the X-windowing system to use it, so it will not work on the
172 command line.
173 </li>
174 <li>
175 <b>--xconfig</b>: Provides a kernel configuration utility which depends on
176 the QT libraries. The advantage of this option is that most users find it
177 easier and clearer to configure the kernel using this tool, since it relies
178 on the X-windowing system. The disadvantage of this option is that you
179 <b>need</b> the X-windowing system to use it, so it will not work on the
180 command line.
181 </li>
182 <li>
183 <b>--<c>no-</c>save-config</b>: Saves [or does not save] the kernel
184 configuration to a file in the <path>/etc/kernels/</path> directory for
185 later use.
186 </li>
187 </ul>
189 </body>
190 </section>
191 <section>
192 <title>Compilation Flags</title>
193 <body>
195 <p>
196 The following flags usually take effect during the actual compilation:
197 </p>
199 <ul>
200 <li>
201 <b>--kerneldir=<path>/path/to/sources/</path></b>: Specifies an alternative
202 kernel source location, rather than the default
203 <path>/usr/src/linux/</path> location.
204 </li>
205 <li>
206 <b>--kernel-config=<path>/path/to/config-file</path></b>: Specifies what
207 alternative kernel configuration will be used, rather than the default
208 <path>/path/to/sources/.config</path> file.
209 </li>
210 <li>
211 <b>--module-prefix=<path>/path/to/prefix-directory/</path></b>: Specifies a
212 prefix to the directory where kernel modules will be installed (default
213 path is the <path>/lib/modules/</path> directory.)
214 </li>
215 </ul>
217 <ul>
218 <li>
219 <b>--<c>no-</c>clean</b>: Activates <e>[or deactivates]</e> the <c>make
220 clean</c> command before compiling your kernel. The <c>make clean</c>
221 command removes all object files and dependencies from the kernel's source
222 tree.
223 </li>
224 <li>
225 <b>--<c>no-</c>mrproper</b>: Activates <e>[or deactivates]</e> the <c>make
226 mrproper</c> command before kernel compilation. Like the <c>make clean</c>
227 command, <c>make mrproper</c> removes all object files and dependencies
228 from the kernel's source tree. However, any previous configuration files
229 (in <path>/path/to/sources/.config</path> or
230 <path>/path/to/sources/.config.old</path>) will <b>also</b> be purged from
231 the kernel's source tree.
232 </li>
233 <li>
234 <b>--oldconfig</b>: Issues the <c>make oldconfig</c> command, which
235 attempts to collect configuration information for the system's architecture
236 from a generic script in <path>/usr/share/genkernel/</path>. This is a
237 non-interactive process; no user input is entertained. Also, if
238 <c>--oldconfig</c> is used in conjunction with <c>--clean</c>, the latter
239 flag is negated, resulting in the activation of the <c>--no-clean</c> flag.
240 </li>
241 </ul>
243 <ul>
244 <li>
245 <b>--callback="<c>echo hello</c>"</b>: Calls the specified arguments
246 (<c>echo hello</c>, in this case) after the kernel and the relevant modules
247 have been built, but before building the initrd image. This may be useful
248 if you want to install external modules in the initrd image by emerging the
249 relevant item(s) with the callback feature, and then redefining a genkernel
250 module group.
251 </li>
252 </ul>
254 <ul>
255 <li>
256 <b>--<c>no-</c>install</b>: Activates <e>[or deactivates]</e> the <c>make
257 install</c> command, which installs your new kernel image, configuration
258 file, initrd image and system map onto your mounted boot partition. Any
259 compiled modules will be installed as well.
260 </li>
261 <li>
262 <b>--<c>no-</c>initrdmodules</b>: Refrains from copying any modules to the
263 genkernel-created initrd image. This flag is an exception to the rule about
264 the <c>no-</c> prefix; omission of this prefix creates an invalid genkernel
265 flag.
266 </li>
267 <li>
268 <b>--genzimage</b>: Creates the initrd image, prior to the kernel image.
269 (This hack currently applies only to PPC Pegasos systems.)
270 </li>
271 </ul>
273 </body>
274 </section>
275 <section>
276 <title>Compiler Flags</title>
277 <body>
279 <p>
280 The following flags are supported by genkernel, and are passed to the relevant
281 applications while the kernel is being assembled. These flags affect the
282 <e>compiler</e> used for the kernel compilation process, albeit at a much lower
283 level.
284 </p>
286 <ul>
287 <li>
288 <b>--kernel-cc=<c>someCompiler</c></b>: Specifies the compiler employed
289 during the kernel compilation process.
290 </li>
291 <li>
292 <b>--kernel-ld=<c>someLinker</c></b>: Specifies the linker employed during
293 the kernel compilation process.
294 </li>
295 <li>
296 <b>--kernel-as=<c>someAssembler</c></b>: Specifies the assembler employed
297 during the kernel compilation process.
298 </li>
299 <li>
300 <b>--kernel-make=<c>someMake</c></b>: Specifies an alternative to the
301 <e>GNU make</e> utility employed during the kernel compilation process.
302 </li>
303 </ul>
305 <ul>
306 <li>
307 <b>--utils-cc=<c>someCompiler</c></b>: Specifies the compiler employed
308 during the compilation of support utilities.
309 </li>
310 <li>
311 <b>--utils-ld=<c>someLinker</c></b>: Specifies the linker employed during
312 the compilation of support utilities.
313 </li>
314 <li>
315 <b>--utils-as=<c>someAssembler</c></b>: Specifies the assembler employed
316 during the compilation of support utilities.
317 </li>
318 <li>
319 <b>--utils-make=<c>someMake</c></b>: Specifies an alternative to the <e>GNU
320 make</e> utility employed during the compilation of support utilities.
321 </li>
322 </ul>
324 <ul>
325 <li>
326 <b>--makeopts=<c>-jX</c></b>: Specifies the number of concurrent threads
327 that the make utility can implement while the kernel (and utilities) are
328 being compiled. The variable <b>'X'</b> is a number obtained by adding one
329 (1) to the number of CPUs used by the system. So, for a system with one
330 CPU, the appropriate flag is <c>-j2</c>; a system with two CPUs will use
331 the <c>-j3</c> flag, and so on. <e>(A system with one processor that
332 supports Hyper-Threading™ (HT) Technology can use the</e><c>-j3</c>
333 <e>flag, provided Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) support is enabled in
334 the kernel.)</e>
335 </li>
336 </ul>
338 </body>
339 </section>
340 <section>
341 <title>Debugging Flags</title>
342 <body>
344 <p>
345 The use debugging flags during the kernel compilation process controls the
346 amount of information reported, as well as the presentation of said data.
347 </p>
349 <ul>
350 <li>
351 <b>--debuglevel=<c>verblevel</c></b>: Controls the level of verbosity for
352 information provided by genkernel. The variable <c>verblevel</c> is an
353 integer between 0 and 5. The level '0' represents minimal output, while '5'
354 provides as much information as possible about genkernel's activities
355 during the kernel compilation process.
356 </li>
357 <li>
358 <b>--debugfile=<path>/path/to/outputfile</path></b>: Ignores the value set
359 by the <c>--debuglevel</c> argument, and sends <b>all</b> debugging data
360 produced by genkernel to the specified output file, which is located at
361 <path>/var/log/genkernel.log</path> by default.
362 </li>
363 <li>
364 <b>--no-color</b>: Activates [or deactivates] colored output of debugging
365 information (reported by genkernel) using escape sequences.
366 </li>
367 </ul>
369 </body>
370 </section>
372 <section>
373 <title>Initialization Flags</title>
374 <body>
376 <p>
377 The flags here are used to create certain effects during system startup. Some
378 of these flags are primarily for aesthetics, while others may be essential for
379 enabling certain features on the system.
380 </p>
382 <ul>
383 <li>
384 <b>--<c>no-</c>bootsplash</b>: Activates <e>[or deactivates]</e> support
385 for <uri link="http://www.bootsplash.org/">bootsplash</uri> in the
386 genkernel-built initrd image. The bootsplash feature is supported on a
387 limited number of architectures, and a kernel that supports bootsplash is
388 also required.
389 </li>
390 <li>
391 <b>--<c>no-</c>gensplash</b>: Activates <e>[or deactivates]</e> support for
392 <uri
393 link="http://dev.gentoo.org/~spock/projects/gensplash/">gensplash</uri>
394 support in the genkernel-built initrd image. The gensplash utility is
395 intended to be a replacement for bootsplash, and is designed for use with
396 2.6.x series kernels. To override the default theme used by gensplash, use
397 <b>--gensplash=<c>PreferredTheme</c></b> (where <c>PreferredTheme</c> is
398 the title of one of the directories inside the <path>/etc/splash/</path>
399 directory.
400 </li>
401 <li>
402 <b>--gensplash-res=<c>PreferredResolution</c></b>: This flag allows you to
403 select which splash screen resolutions will be supported in the initrd
404 during the start-up of the system. This is useful for two reasons: First,
405 you are able to select only the splash screen resolution(s) relevant to
406 your system. Second, you avoid the unnecessary increase in the disk space
407 required by initrd (since the initrd does not have to support resolutions
408 that are irrelevant for your system configuration.) However, you may want
409 to omit this flag if the kernel is being compiled for an Installation CD;
410 this allows gensplash support for all possible resolutions.
411 </li>
412 <li>
413 <b>--do-keymap-auto</b>: Force keymap selection during the boot sequence.
414 </li>
415 <li>
416 <b>--lvm2</b>: Includes support for storage using via <uri
417 link="http://sources.redhat.com/lvm2/">Logical Volume Management</uri>
418 (LVM2) from <e>static</e> binaries, if available to the system. Relevant
419 (static) LVM2 binaries are compiled if they are unavailable. Be sure to
420 install the lvm2 package on your system with <c>emerge lvm2</c> before
421 enabling this flag, and review the <uri link="/doc/en/lvm2.xml">Gentoo LVM2
422 Installation</uri> guide.
423 </li>
424 <li>
425 <b>--evms2</b>: Includes support for storage using the <uri
426 link="http://evms.sourceforge.net/">Enterprise Volume Management
427 System</uri> (EVMS2), if available. Be sure to install the evms package on
428 your system with <c>USE=static emerge evms2</c> before using this
429 (genkernel) flag. <e>(Omitting the </e><c>USE=static</c> <e>flag during
430 package installation will fail to include the necessary static binaries.)
431 </e>
432 </li>
433 <li>
434 <b>--dmraid</b>: Includes support for <uri
435 link="http://people.redhat.com/~heinzm/sw/dmraid/readme">DMRAID</uri>; the
436 utility which creates RAID mappings using the kernel device-mapper
437 subsystem. DMRAID discovers, activates, deactivates and displays properties
438 of software RAID sets (ATARAID, for example) and contained DOS partitions.
439 </li>
440 <li>
441 <b>--linuxrc=/path/to/your/linuxrc</b>: Specifies a user-created
442 <e>linuxrc</e> — a script that is initialized during the start-up stage of
443 the kernel, prior to the actual boot process. (A default linuxrc script
444 should be in the <path>/usr/share/genkernel/</path> directory.) This script
445 allows you to boot into a small, modularized kernel and load the drivers
446 that are needed (as modules) by the system.
447 </li>
448 <li>
449 <b>--cachedir=/path/to/alt/dir/</b>: Overrides the default cache location
450 used while compiling the kernel.
451 </li>
452 <li>
453 <b>--tempdir=/path/to/new/tempdir/</b>: Specifies the location of the
454 temporary directory used by genkernel while compiling the kernel.
455 </li>
456 <li>
457 <b>--unionfs</b>: Includes support for the <uri
458 link="http://www.fsl.cs.sunysb.edu/project-unionfs.html">Unification File
459 System</uri> in the initrd image.
460 </li>
461 </ul>
463 </body>
464 </section>
465 <section>
466 <title>Miscellaneous Flags</title>
467 <body>
469 <p>
470 The assortment of flags listed below are supported by genkernel, but do not fit
471 neatly into any of the other categories:
472 </p>
474 <ul>
475 <li>
476 <b>--mountboot</b>: Detects whether or not the <path>/boot/</path>
477 directory needs to be mounted on a separate partition. It will check
478 <path>/etc/fstab</path> script for instructions on how to mount the boot
479 partition on a file system (if needed).
480 </li>
481 <li>
482 <b>--kernname=<c>NickName</c></b>: Allows you to modify the name of the
483 kernel and initrd images in the <path>/boot/</path> directory, so that the
484 images produced are kernel-<c>NickName</c>-version and
485 initramfs-<c>NickName</c>-version.
486 </li>
487 </ul>
489 </body>
490 </section>
491 <section>
492 <title>Possible Actions</title>
493 <body>
495 <p>
496 An action tells genkernel what to build. Currently, the following actions are
497 supported:
498 </p>
500 <ul>
501 <li><c>initrd</c>: Only builds the initrd image</li>
502 <li><c>bzImage</c>: Only builds the kernel image</li>
503 <li><c>kernel</c>: Only builds the kernel image and modules</li>
504 <li><c>all</c>: Builds all stages — the initrd, kernel image and modules.</li>
505 </ul>
507 <p>
508 The last action, <c>all</c>, is recommended for most users since it builds the
509 stages required for a functional kernel. Remember, an <e>action</e> simply
510 tells genkernel what to <e>build</e>, not <e>install</e>.
511 </p>
513 </body>
514 </section>
515 <section>
516 <title>Bootloader Configuration</title>
517 <body>
519 <p>
520 To set up genkernel to work with your bootloader, three or four changes should
521 be applied to the bootloader's configuration file:
522 </p>
524 <ol>
525 <li>
526 Add <c>root=/dev/ram0</c> and <c>init=/linuxrc</c> to the kernel parameters
527 passed to the kernel image.
528 </li>
529 <li>
530 Add <c>real_root=/dev/hda3</c>, for example, to the kernel parameters
531 passed to the kernel image, if <path>/dev/hda3</path> contains your root
532 partition.
533 </li>
534 <li>
535 If you are using bootsplash, add a suitable mode line such as
536 <c>vga=0x317</c> to the parameters passed to the kernel and also add
537 <c>splash=verbose</c> or <c>splash=silent</c> depending on the verboseness
538 you require from your bootloader.
539 </li>
540 <li>
541 Add the initrd information as required by the bootloader. Consult the <uri
542 link="/doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml?part=1&amp;chap=10"> Bootloader
543 Configuration Chapter</uri> of the Gentoo Handbook for details on how to
544 make your bootloader initrd-aware.
545 </li>
546 </ol>
548 </body>
549 </section>
550 </chapter>
552 <chapter>
553 <title>Configuration Options</title>
554 <section>
555 <title>Editing /etc/genkernel.conf</title>
556 <body>
558 <p>
559 Passing flags to genkernel from the command line can be cumbersome, especially
560 if you have about a dozen flags:
561 </p>
563 <pre caption="Running genkernel (overloaded with flags)">
564 # <i>genkernel --debuglevel=5 --no-color --no-mrproper --clean --gensplash \
565 --kerneldir=/path/to/alternate/kernel/sources --install --menuconfig \
566 --kernel-config=/path/to/preferred/configfile --save-config --mountboot all</i>
567 </pre>
569 <p>
570 Fortunately, there is a configuration file where most of the basic options can
571 be set (or changed) as necessary. What follows is a rundown of the more
572 relevant options:
573 </p>
575 <ul>
576 <li>
577 <b>MENUCONFIG=<c>[yes|no]</c></b>: This option is equivalent to the
578 <c>--menuconfig</c> flag used by genkernel, which in turn uses the <c>make
579 menuconfig</c> command to invoke a command-line based kernel configuration
580 utility. To invoke the utility automatically during kernel configuration
581 via this script, set this option to 'yes' here; otherwise, choose 'no'.
582 </li>
583 <li>
584 <b>CLEAN=<c>[yes|no]</c></b>: Setting this option to 'yes' is equivalent to
585 the <c>--clean</c> flag used by genkernel, and invokes the <c>make
586 clean</c> command to remove all object files and dependencies from the
587 kernel's source tree. Setting this option to 'no' creates a cascade effect
588 &#8212; it is equivalent to genkernel's <c>--no-clean</c> flag, which
589 disables the <c>make clean</c> command and implies genkernel's
590 <c>--no-mrproper</c> flag &#8212; essentially nullifying the <c>make
591 mrproper</c> command.
592 </li>
593 <li>
594 <b>MRPROPER=<c>[yes|no]</c></b>: Setting this option to 'yes' is equivalent
595 to <c>--mrproper</c> flag used by genkernel, and invokes the <c>make
596 mrproper</c> command, which purges the kernel source tree of any
597 configuration files. Selecting 'no' here is equivalent to genkernel's
598 <c>--no-mrproper</c> flag, which disables the <c>make mrproper</c> command.
599 </li>
600 <li>
601 <b>MOUNTBOOT=<c>[yes|no]</c></b>: Setting this option to 'yes' is
602 equivalent to the <c>--mountboot</c> flag, and automatically mounts the
603 <path>/boot/</path> directory (if needed) at compile time. If the
604 <path>/boot/</path> directory is on a separate partition, consider enabling
605 this option; it will make for one less (essential) step to remember later.
606 </li>
607 <li>
608 <b>SAVE_CONFIG=<c>[yes|no]</c></b>: After configuring the kernel, the
609 selected options are stored as <path>.config</path> in the kernel source
610 tree. This script may be overwritten during the next kernel compilation, or
611 even purged from the kernel source tree. Choosing 'yes' here is equivalent
612 to the <c>--save-config</c> flag, and stores all options selected during
613 kernel configuration as a script in the <path>/etc/kernels/</path>
614 directory. Choosing 'no' preserves the <e>status quo</e>.
615 </li>
616 <li>
617 <b>USECOLOR=<c>[yes|no]</c></b>: Setting this option to 'yes' is equivalent
618 to the <c>--color</c> flag, which colors genkernel's output to ease
619 debugging (when needed.)
620 </li>
621 <li>
622 <b>DEBUGLEVEL=<c>[0|1|2|3|4|5]</c></b>: This option is for adjusting the
623 verbosity of the output produced by genkernel — setting this option to '0'
624 with <c>--debuglevel=0</c> will suppress all output produced by genkernel;
625 setting this option to '5' with <c>--debuglevel=5</c> provides the user
626 with all output produced by genkernel.
627 </li>
628 </ul>
630 <p>
631 By choosing the appropriate options in <path>/etc/genkernel.conf</path>, you
632 can halve the number of flags passed to genkernel from the command line:
633 </p>
635 <pre caption="Running genkernel (with flags), after employing genkernel.conf">
636 # <i>genkernel --gensplash --kerneldir=/path/to/alternate/kernel/sources \
637 --kernel-config=/path/to/preferred/configfile --install all</i>
638 </pre>
640 <p>
641 Identical results are obtained from both approaches, but the latter has most of
642 the options stored in a script that can be modified at a later date.
643 </p>
645 </body>
646 </section>
647 </chapter>
649 <chapter>
650 <title>Network-Booting with genkernel</title>
651 <section>
652 <title>Network Booting from an Installation CD</title>
653 <body>
655 <p>
656 The genkernel utility can build kernel and initrd images that provide support
657 for network booting, or <e>netboot</e>ing . With any luck, you should be able
658 to netboot any recent computer into the environment provided by the
659 Installation CD.
660 </p>
662 <p>
663 The magic lies in genkernel's linuxrc script: it will try to <e>netmount</e>
664 the Installation CD using NFS. From there, <e>the init scripts</e> of the
665 Installation CD can take over, as if the CD was present locally.
666 </p>
668 </body>
669 </section>
670 <section>
671 <title>Building Kernel and Initrd Images with Support for Netbooting</title>
672 <body>
674 <p>
675 To enable support for netbooting, include the following options while
676 configuring the kernel:
677 </p>
679 <warn>
680 Support for netbooting with genkernel is experimental and may contain bugs.
681 </warn>
683 <p>
684 First, the kernel image must include the drivers for your Network Interface
685 Cards (NIC). Normally, drivers for such devices will be compiled as modules.
686 However, it is essential (for netbooting) that you have such drivers compiled
687 directly into the kernel image and <b>not</b> as modules.
688 </p>
690 <pre caption="Configuring a 2.6.x series kernel to support your NIC driver">
691 Device Drivers --->
692 Networking Support --->
693 Ethernet (10 or 100Mbit) --->
694 [*] Ethernet (10 or 100Mbit)
695 &lt;*&gt; the driver for your network card
696 <comment>(Be sure to select &lt;*&gt; and not &lt;M&gt;)</comment>
697 </pre>
699 <p>
700 Secondly, we suggest that you enable <c>IP: kernel level autoconfiguration</c>
701 and the <c>IP: DHCP support</c> options. This avoids an unnecessary layer of
702 complexity since the IP address and the NFS path to the Installation CD can be
703 configured on a DHCP server. Of course, this means the kernel command line
704 will remain constant for any machine — which is very important for
705 <e>etherbooting</e>.
706 </p>
708 <pre caption="Configuring a 2.6.x series kernel to support DHCP">
709 Device Drivers --->
710 Networking Support --->
711 Networking options
712 [*] TCP/IP networking--->
713 [*] IP: kernel level autoconfiguration
714 [*] IP: DHCP support
715 <comment>(These options tell the kernel to send a DHCP request at bootup.)</comment>
716 </pre>
718 <p>
719 Additionally, you should enable SquashFS because most modern Gentoo
720 Installation CDs require it. Support for SquashFS is not included with the
721 generic kernel source tree. To enable SquashFS, apply the necessary patches to
722 the generic kernel source or install <c>gentoo-sources</c>.
723 </p>
725 <pre caption="Configuring the kernel to support SquashFS">
726 File systems--->
727 Miscellaneous filesystems --->
728 [*] SquashFS 2.X - Squashed file system support
729 </pre>
731 <p>
732 Once the compilation process is completed, create a compressed <e>tarball</e>
733 (tar.gz) that contains the kernel's modules. This step is only necessary if
734 your kernel version does not match the kernel image version on the Installation
735 CD.
736 </p>
738 <pre caption="Creating a compressed tarball containing the kernel modules">
739 <comment>(Create a tar.gz containing all the modules)</comment>
740 # <i>cd /</i>
741 # <i> tar -cf /tmp/modules-X.Y.Z.tar.gz /lib/modules/X.Y.Z/</i>
742 </pre>
744 <p>
745 Depending on your network boot mechanism, you will need to do some of the
746 following steps:
747 </p>
749 <pre caption="Creating a boot image">
750 <comment>(Create an etherboot image)</comment>
751 # <i>emerge mknbi</i>
752 # <i>cd /boot</i>
753 # <i>mkelf-linux -params="root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc ip=dhcp" kernel... initrd... > etherboot.img</i>
755 <comment>(Create a OpenBoot / SPARC64 TFTP image)</comment>
756 # <i>emerge sparc-utils</i>
757 # <i>cd /boot</i>
758 # <i>elftoaout kernel... -o kernel.aout</i>
759 # <i>piggyback64 kernel.aout System.map-... initrd-...</i>
760 # <i>mv kernel.aout openboot.img</i> <comment>(This is the boot image)</comment>
762 <comment>(PXE does not need any more steps, the kernel and initrd can be used as is)</comment>
763 </pre>
765 <p>
766 Finally, copy this kernel to your TFTP server. The details are
767 architecture-dependent and are beyond the scope of this guide. Please refer to
768 the documentation for your platform.
769 </p>
771 </body>
772 </section>
773 <section>
774 <title>NFS Setup</title>
775 <body>
777 <p>
778 To setup a NFS share that contains the Installation CD, use the loop device to
779 mount the ISO image and then copy the contents of the CD into the NFS share. As
780 a nice extra, genkernel's initrd scripts will extract all tar.gz files located
781 in the <path>/nfs/livecd/add/</path> directory. All you have to do here is copy
782 the <c>modules-X.Y.Z.tar.gz</c> archive to the <path>/nfs/livecd/add/</path>
783 directory.
784 </p>
786 <pre caption="Preparing the NFS share">
787 <comment>(This assumes that /nfs/livecd is a exported NFS share)</comment>
788 # <i>mount /mnt/cdrom /tmp/gentoo-livecd.iso -o loop</i>
789 # <i>cp -p /mnt/cdrom /nfs/livecd</i>
790 # <i>umount /mnt/cdrom</i>
792 <comment>(Copy the modules.tar.gz into /add)</comment>
793 # <i>mkdir /nfs/livecd/add</i>
794 # <i>cp /tmp/modules-X.Y.Z.tar.gz /nfs/livecd/add</i>
795 </pre>
797 </body>
798 </section>
799 <section>
800 <title>DHCP Setup</title>
801 <body>
803 <p>
804 The netboot images will ask your DHCP server for an IP as well as a root-path
805 parameter. Both can be specified per host using a MAC address to identify
806 machines:
807 </p>
809 <pre caption="Sample client dhcpd.conf setup">
810 ...
812 host netbootableMachine {
813 hardware ethernet 11:22:33:44:55:66;
814 fixed-address;
815 option root-path "";
816 }
817 <comment># Here, is the NFS server
818 # While will be the IP address of the netbooted machine</comment>
819 ...
820 </pre>
822 </body>
823 </section>
824 <section>
825 <title>Netbooting Instructions</title>
826 <body>
828 <p>
829 Netbooting itself is again very platform-specific. The important part is to
830 specify the <c>ip=dhcp</c> and <c>init=/linuxrc</c> parameters on the kernel
831 command line, as this will bring up the network interface and tell the initrd
832 scripts to mount the Installation CD via NFS. Here are some platform-specific
833 tips:
834 </p>
836 <pre caption="Netbooting Instructions">
837 <comment># Etherboot - insert the etherboot disk into the drive and reboot
838 # The kernel command line was specified when the image was constructed</comment>
840 <comment># Sparc64 - Hit Stop-A at the boot prompt</comment>
841 ok boot net ip=dhcp init=/linuxrc
843 <comment># PXE - Setup pxelinux (part of syslinux),
844 then create a pxelinux.cfg/default along the lines of:</comment>
846 DEFAULT gentoo
847 TIMEOUT 40
848 PROMPT 1
850 LABEL gentoo
851 KERNEL kernel-X.Y.Z
852 APPEND initrd=initrd-X.Y.Z root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc ip=dhcp
853 </pre>
855 </body>
856 </section>
857 </chapter>
859 <chapter>
860 <title>Conclusion</title>
862 <section>
863 <title>To Automate or not to Automate?</title>
864 <body>
866 <p>
867 The purpose of genkernel is to provide an (easier) alternative to the
868 time-tested approach to kernel compilation. As always, you are free to decide
869 on whether or not you want to automate the kernel compilation process.
870 </p>
872 </body>
873 </section>
874 </chapter>
876 </guide>

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