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1 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
2 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/genkernel.xml,v 1.36 2011/01/21 06:24:57 nightmorph Exp $ -->
3 <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
5 <guide>
6 <title>Gentoo Linux Genkernel Guide</title>
8 <author title="Author">
9 <mail link="plasmaroo@gentoo.org">Tim Yamin</mail>
10 </author>
11 <!-- folajimi@speakeasy.net -->
12 <author title="Contributor">
13 Jimi Ayodele
14 </author>
15 <!-- thseiler@gmail.com -->
16 <author title="NFS Support">
17 Thomas Seiler
18 </author>
19 <author title="Editor">
20 <mail link="nightmorph"/>
21 </author>
22 <author title="Contributor">
23 <mail link="sping"/>
24 </author>
26 <abstract>
27 This guide intends to provide a reference of all the functions provided by
28 genkernel.
29 </abstract>
31 <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
32 <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
33 <license/>
35 <version>7</version>
36 <date>2011-09-03</date>
38 <chapter>
39 <title>Introduction</title>
40 <section>
41 <title>Rationale</title>
42 <body>
44 <p>
45 For users who don't want to manually compile their kernels, genkernel is a tool
46 to automate this process. It can help you create a kernel image akin to those
47 available on Gentoo Installation CDs, which are designed to auto-detect the
48 hardware configuration of your system. Some users may also be interested in
49 using genkernel for hardware requiring initialization and a working kernel
50 before the system starts up.
51 </p>
53 </body>
54 </section>
55 <section>
56 <title>Target Audience</title>
57 <body>
59 <p>
60 If you are either uncertain about how to compile a kernel, or are just
61 unfamiliar with your hardware configuration, genkernel is a very handy tool.
62 It is designed to take the pain out of the kernel compiling process, and
63 supports most hardware by default.
64 </p>
66 <p>
67 However, if you know what drivers are required by your system, you may be able
68 to further reduce the time taken to compile the kernel. This is possible since
69 you can direct genkernel to only build drivers relevant to your hardware.
70 Oftentimes, the number of drivers required by your system will be fewer
71 (implying a shorter kernel compilation time) than the default configuration
72 provides.
73 </p>
75 </body>
76 </section>
77 <section>
78 <title>Installing genkernel</title>
79 <body>
81 <p>
82 To obtain genkernel, run <c>emerge genkernel</c> from the command line. Consult
83 <c>genkernel --help</c> for help on how to use the version of genkernel
84 installed on your system.
85 </p>
87 </body>
88 </section>
89 </chapter>
91 <chapter>
92 <title>Working with genkernel</title>
93 <section>
94 <title>How to use genkernel</title>
95 <body>
97 <p>
98 Although there are several ways to run genkernel, the least-intrusive approach
99 is provided by <c>genkernel all</c>. Here, a generic configuration which works
100 well for most systems is used. As was mentioned earlier, this approach is not
101 without drawbacks; most of the modules created are useless to the average user
102 and may increase compile time. Below is an illustration of a more efficient
103 approach, achieved by passing certain flags to genkernel as root:
104 </p>
106 <pre caption="Running genkernel (with flags)">
107 # <i>genkernel --splash --no-install --no-clean --menuconfig all</i>
108 </pre>
110 <p>
111 The above operation causes genkernel to create a framebuffer splash-enabled
112 kernel (<c>--splash</c>) that will have to be manually installed
113 (<c>--no-install</c>). While preparing the kernel source tree, genkernel will
114 refrain from cleaning out any preexisting object files present in the source
115 tree (<c>--no-clean</c>). A menu-driven kernel configuration utility will be
116 displayed that allows the user to select which modules will be built for the
117 system (<c>--menuconfig</c>).
118 </p>
120 <p>
121 There are other flags which alter the result provided by genkernel. For
122 instance, replacing <c>--no-install</c> with the <c>--install</c> flag allows
123 genkernel to automatically install the new kernel in the <path>/boot</path>
124 directory, and will create symlinks for you if <c>--symlink</c> is specified.
125 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,
141 configuration variables, and actions available for genkernel. For a more
142 complete list, please refer to <c>man genkernel</c> and the comments in
143 <path>/etc/genkernel.conf</path>. Some of the flags have variants which
144 perform a converse operation. The converse variants carry the <b><c>no-</c></b>
145 prefix, and their effects are enclosed within the square brackets, [].
146 </p>
148 </body>
149 </section>
150 <section>
151 <title>Configuration Flags</title>
152 <body>
154 <p>
155 The configuration flags listed below exist to help you decide what features
156 should be enabled or disabled in the kernel prior to compilation. You can even
157 choose whether or not the configuration file created in the process should be
158 saved. The following are the primary configuration flags:
159 </p>
161 <ul>
162 <li>
163 <b>--<c>no-</c>menuconfig</b>: Activates <e>[or deactivates]</e> the
164 <c>make menuconfig</c> command (which invokes an interactive, menu-based
165 kernel configuration utility), before building the kernel.
166 </li>
167 <li>
168 <b>--gconfig</b>: Provides a kernel configuration utility which depends on
169 the GTK+ libraries. The advantage of this option is that most users find it
170 easier and clearer to configure the kernel using this tool, since it relies
171 on the X-windowing system. The disadvantage of this option is that you
172 <b>need</b> the X-windowing system to use it, so it will not work on the
173 command line.
174 </li>
175 <li>
176 <b>--xconfig</b>: Provides a kernel configuration utility which depends on
177 the QT libraries. The advantage of this option is that most users find it
178 easier and clearer to configure the kernel using this tool, since it relies
179 on the X-windowing system. The disadvantage of this option is that you
180 <b>need</b> the X-windowing system to use it, so it will not work on the
181 command line.
182 </li>
183 <li>
184 <b>--<c>no-</c>save-config</b>: Saves <e>[or does not save]</e> the kernel
185 configuration to a file in the <path>/etc/kernels/</path> directory for
186 later use.
187 </li>
188 </ul>
190 </body>
191 </section>
192 <section>
193 <title>Compilation Flags</title>
194 <body>
196 <p>
197 The following flags usually take effect during the actual compilation:
198 </p>
200 <ul>
201 <li>
202 <b>--kerneldir=<path>/path/to/sources/</path></b>: Specifies an alternative
203 kernel source location, rather than the default
204 <path>/usr/src/linux/</path> location.
205 </li>
206 <li>
207 <b>--kernel-config=<path>/path/to/config-file</path></b>: Specifies what
208 alternative kernel configuration will be used, rather than the default
209 <path>/path/to/sources/.config</path> file.
210 </li>
211 <li>
212 <b>--module-prefix=<path>/path/to/prefix-directory/</path></b>: Specifies a
213 prefix to the directory where kernel modules will be installed (default
214 path is the <path>/lib/modules/</path> directory.)
215 </li>
216 </ul>
218 <ul>
219 <li>
220 <b>--<c>no-</c>clean</b>: Activates <e>[or deactivates]</e> the <c>make
221 clean</c> command before compiling your kernel. The <c>make clean</c>
222 command removes all object files and dependencies from the kernel's source
223 tree.
224 </li>
225 <li>
226 <b>--<c>no-</c>mrproper</b>: Activates <e>[or deactivates]</e> the <c>make
227 mrproper</c> command before kernel compilation. Like the <c>make clean</c>
228 command, <c>make mrproper</c> removes all object files and dependencies
229 from the kernel's source tree. However, any previous configuration files
230 (in <path>/path/to/sources/.config</path> or
231 <path>/path/to/sources/.config.old</path>) will <b>also</b> be purged from
232 the kernel's source tree.
233 </li>
234 <li>
235 <b>--oldconfig</b>: Issues the <c>make oldconfig</c> command, which
236 attempts to collect configuration information for the system's architecture
237 from a generic script in <path>/usr/share/genkernel/</path>. This is a
238 non-interactive process; no user input is entertained. Also, if
239 <c>--oldconfig</c> is used in conjunction with <c>--clean</c>, the latter
240 flag is negated, resulting in the activation of the <c>--no-clean</c> flag.
241 </li>
242 </ul>
244 <ul>
245 <li>
246 <b>--callback="<c>echo hello</c>"</b>: Calls the specified arguments
247 (<c>echo hello</c>, in this case) after the kernel and the relevant modules
248 have been built, but before building the initrd image. This may be useful
249 if you want to install external modules in the initrd image by emerging the
250 relevant item(s) with the callback feature, and then redefining a genkernel
251 module group.
252 </li>
253 </ul>
255 <ul>
256 <li>
257 <b>--<c>no-</c>install</b>: Activates <e>[or deactivates]</e> the <c>make
258 install</c> command, which installs your new kernel image, configuration
259 file, initrd image and system map onto your mounted boot partition. Any
260 compiled modules will be installed as well.
261 </li>
262 <li>
263 <b>--no-ramdisk-modules</b>: Refrains from copying any modules to the
264 genkernel-created initrd image. This flag is an exception to the rule about
265 the <c>no-</c> prefix; omission of this prefix creates an invalid genkernel
266 flag.
267 </li>
268 <li>
269 <b>--all-ramdisk-modules</b>: Copies all available modules to the
270 genkernel-created initrd image.
271 </li>
272 <li>
273 <b>--genzimage</b>: Creates the initrd image, prior to the kernel image.
274 (This hack currently applies only to PPC Pegasos systems.)
275 </li>
276 </ul>
278 </body>
279 </section>
280 <section>
281 <title>Compiler Flags</title>
282 <body>
284 <p>
285 The following flags are supported by genkernel, and are passed to the relevant
286 applications while the kernel is being assembled. These flags affect the
287 <e>compiler</e> used for the kernel compilation process, albeit at a much lower
288 level.
289 </p>
291 <ul>
292 <li>
293 <b>--kernel-cc=<c>someCompiler</c></b>: Specifies the compiler employed
294 during the kernel compilation process.
295 </li>
296 <li>
297 <b>--kernel-ld=<c>someLinker</c></b>: Specifies the linker employed during
298 the kernel compilation process.
299 </li>
300 <li>
301 <b>--kernel-as=<c>someAssembler</c></b>: Specifies the assembler employed
302 during the kernel compilation process.
303 </li>
304 <li>
305 <b>--kernel-make=<c>someMake</c></b>: Specifies an alternative to the
306 <e>GNU make</e> utility employed during the kernel compilation process.
307 </li>
308 </ul>
310 <ul>
311 <li>
312 <b>--utils-cc=<c>someCompiler</c></b>: Specifies the compiler employed
313 during the compilation of support utilities.
314 </li>
315 <li>
316 <b>--utils-ld=<c>someLinker</c></b>: Specifies the linker employed during
317 the compilation of support utilities.
318 </li>
319 <li>
320 <b>--utils-as=<c>someAssembler</c></b>: Specifies the assembler employed
321 during the compilation of support utilities.
322 </li>
323 <li>
324 <b>--utils-make=<c>someMake</c></b>: Specifies an alternative to the <e>GNU
325 make</e> utility employed during the compilation of support utilities.
326 </li>
327 </ul>
329 <ul>
330 <li>
331 <b>--makeopts=<c>-jX</c></b>: Specifies the number of concurrent threads
332 that the make utility can implement while the kernel (and utilities) are
333 being compiled. The variable <b>'X'</b> is a number obtained by adding one
334 (1) to the number of CPUs used by the system. So, for a system with one
335 CPU, the appropriate flag is <c>-j2</c>; a system with two CPUs will use
336 the <c>-j3</c> flag, and so on. <e>(A system with one processor that
337 supports Hyper-Threading&trade; (HT) Technology can use the
338 </e><c>-j3</c><e> flag, provided Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) support is
339 enabled in the kernel.)</e>
340 </li>
341 </ul>
343 </body>
344 </section>
345 <section>
346 <title>Debugging Flags</title>
347 <body>
349 <p>
350 The use of debugging flags during the kernel compilation process controls the
351 amount of information reported, as well as the presentation of said data.
352 </p>
354 <ul>
355 <li>
356 <b>--loglevel=<c>verblevel</c></b>: Controls the level of verbosity for
357 information provided by genkernel. The variable <c>verblevel</c> is an
358 integer between 0 and 5. The level '0' represents minimal output, while '5'
359 provides as much information as possible about genkernel's activities
360 during the kernel compilation process.
361 </li>
362 <li>
363 <b>--logfile=<path>/path/to/outputfile</path></b>: Ignores the value set
364 by the <c>--loglevel</c> argument, and sends <b>all</b> debugging data
365 produced by genkernel to the specified output file, which is located at
366 <path>/var/log/genkernel.log</path> by default.
367 </li>
368 <li>
369 <b>--no-color</b>: Activates <e>[or deactivates]</e> colored output of
370 debugging information (reported by genkernel) using escape sequences.
371 </li>
372 </ul>
374 </body>
375 </section>
377 <section>
378 <title>Initialization Flags</title>
379 <body>
381 <p>
382 The flags here are used to create certain effects during system startup. Some
383 of these flags are primarily for aesthetics, while others may be essential for
384 enabling certain features on the system.
385 </p>
387 <ul>
388 <li>
389 <b>--<c>no-</c>splash</b>: Activates <e>[or deactivates]</e> support for
390 <uri link="http://fbsplash.berlios.de/wiki/doku.php">framebuffer
391 splash</uri> support in the genkernel-built initrd image. To override the
392 default theme used by fbsplash, use <b>--splash=<c>PreferredTheme</c></b>
393 (where <c>PreferredTheme</c> is the title of one of the directories inside
394 the <path>/etc/splash/</path> directory.
395 </li>
396 <li>
397 <b>--splash-res=<c>PreferredResolution</c></b>: This flag allows you to
398 select which splash screen resolutions will be supported in the initrd
399 during the start-up of the system. This is useful for two reasons: First,
400 you are able to select only the splash screen resolution(s) relevant to your
401 system. Second, you avoid the unnecessary increase in the disk space
402 required by initrd (since the initrd does not have to support resolutions
403 that are irrelevant for your system configuration.) However, you may want to
404 omit this flag if the kernel is being compiled for an Installation CD; this
405 allows splash support for all possible resolutions.
406 </li>
407 <li>
408 <b>--do-keymap-auto</b>: Force keymap selection during the boot sequence.
409 </li>
410 <li>
411 <b>--lvm</b>: Includes support for storage using via <uri
412 link="http://sources.redhat.com/lvm2/">Logical Volume Management</uri>
413 (LVM2) from <e>static</e> binaries, if available to the system. Relevant
414 (static) LVM2 binaries are compiled if they are unavailable. Be sure to
415 install the lvm2 package on your system with <c>emerge lvm2</c> before
416 enabling this flag, and review the <uri link="/doc/en/lvm2.xml">Gentoo LVM2
417 Installation</uri> guide.
418 </li>
419 <li>
420 <b>--dmraid</b>: Includes support for <uri
421 link="http://people.redhat.com/~heinzm/sw/dmraid/readme">DMRAID</uri>; the
422 utility which creates RAID mappings using the kernel device-mapper
423 subsystem. DMRAID discovers, activates, deactivates and displays properties
424 of software RAID sets (ATARAID, for example) and contained DOS partitions.
425 </li>
426 <li>
427 <b>--luks</b>: Includes support for <uri
428 link="http://luks.endorphin.org/">Linux Unified Key Setup</uri> or LUKS.
429 This will allow you to use a device encrypted by LUKS which contains the
430 root filesystem. On the bootloader, you then set that encrypted device as
431 the value of crypt_root (and real_root shall be the unencrypted device LUKS
432 creates).
433 </li>
434 <li>
435 <b>--disklabel</b>: Adds support for disk label and UUID support to your
436 initrd.
437 </li>
438 <li>
439 <b>--iscsi</b>: Adds support for iSCSI to your initrd.
440 </li>
441 <li>
442 <b>--multipath</b>: Adds support for <uri
443 link="/doc/en/multipath.xml">Multipath</uri> to your initrd.
444 </li>
445 <li>
446 <b>--linuxrc=/path/to/your/linuxrc</b>: Specifies a user-created
447 <e>linuxrc</e> &mdash; a script that is initialized during the start-up
448 stage of the kernel, prior to the actual boot process. (A default linuxrc
449 script should be in the <path>/usr/share/genkernel/</path> directory.) This
450 script allows you to boot into a small, modularized kernel and load the
451 drivers that are needed (as modules) by the system.
452 </li>
453 <li>
454 <b>--cachedir=/path/to/alt/dir/</b>: Overrides the default cache location
455 used while compiling the kernel.
456 </li>
457 <li>
458 <b>--tempdir=/path/to/new/tempdir/</b>: Specifies the location of the
459 temporary directory used by genkernel while compiling the kernel.
460 </li>
461 <li>
462 <b>--unionfs</b>: Includes support for the <uri
463 link="http://www.fsl.cs.sunysb.edu/project-unionfs.html">Unification File
464 System</uri> in the initrd image.
465 </li>
466 </ul>
468 </body>
469 </section>
470 <section>
471 <title>Miscellaneous Flags</title>
472 <body>
474 <p>
475 The assortment of flags listed below are supported by genkernel, but do not fit
476 neatly into any of the other categories:
477 </p>
479 <ul>
480 <li>
481 <b>--mountboot</b>: Detects whether or not the <path>/boot/</path>
482 directory needs to be mounted on a separate partition. It will check
483 <path>/etc/fstab</path> script for instructions on how to mount the boot
484 partition on a file system (if needed).
485 </li>
486 <li>
487 <b>--kernname=<c>NickName</c></b>: Allows you to modify the name of the
488 kernel and initrd images in the <path>/boot/</path> directory, so that the
489 images produced are kernel-<c>NickName</c>-version and
490 initramfs-<c>NickName</c>-version.
491 </li>
492 </ul>
494 </body>
495 </section>
496 <section>
497 <title>Possible Actions</title>
498 <body>
500 <p>
501 An action tells genkernel what to build. Currently, the following actions are
502 supported:
503 </p>
505 <ul>
506 <li>
507 <c>all</c>: Builds all stages &mdash; the initrd, kernel image and modules.
508 </li>
509 <li><c>bzImage</c>: Only builds the kernel image</li>
510 <li><c>kernel</c>: Only builds the kernel image and modules</li>
511 <li><c>initramfs</c>: Only builds the initramfs/ramdisk image</li>
512 <li><c>ramdisk</c>: Only builds the initramfs/ramdisk image</li>
513 </ul>
515 <p>
516 The first action, <c>all</c>, is recommended for most users since it builds the
517 stages required for a functional kernel. Remember, an <e>action</e> simply
518 tells genkernel what to <e>build</e>, not <e>install</e>.
519 </p>
521 </body>
522 </section>
523 <section>
524 <title>Bootloader Configuration</title>
525 <body>
527 <p>
528 To set up genkernel to work with your bootloader, three or four changes should
529 be applied to the bootloader's configuration file:
530 </p>
532 <ol>
533 <li>
534 Add <c>real_root=/dev/sda3</c>, for example, to the kernel parameters
535 passed to the kernel image, if <path>/dev/sda3</path> contains your root
536 partition.
537 </li>
538 <li>
539 If you are using splash, add a suitable mode line such as <c>vga=0x317</c>
540 to the parameters passed to the kernel and also add <c>splash=verbose</c> or
541 <c>splash=silent</c> depending on the verboseness you require from your
542 bootloader.
543 </li>
544 <li>
545 Add the initrd information as required by the bootloader. Consult the <uri
546 link="/doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml?part=1&amp;chap=10">Bootloader
547 Configuration Chapter</uri> of the Gentoo Handbook for details on how to
548 make your bootloader initrd-aware.
549 </li>
550 </ol>
552 </body>
553 </section>
554 </chapter>
556 <chapter>
557 <title>Configuration Options</title>
558 <section>
559 <title>Editing /etc/genkernel.conf</title>
560 <body>
562 <p>
563 Passing flags to genkernel from the command line can be cumbersome, especially
564 if you have about a dozen flags:
565 </p>
567 <pre caption="Running genkernel (overloaded with flags)">
568 # <i>genkernel --loglevel=5 --no-color --no-mrproper --clean --splash \
569 --kerneldir=/path/to/alternate/kernel/sources --install --menuconfig \
570 --kernel-config=/path/to/preferred/configfile --save-config --mountboot all</i>
571 </pre>
573 <p>
574 Fortunately, there is a configuration file where most of the basic options can
575 be set (or changed) as necessary: <path>/etc/genkernel.conf</path>. What follows
576 is a rundown of the more relevant options:
577 </p>
579 <ul>
580 <li>
581 <b>MENUCONFIG=<c>[yes|no]</c></b>: This option is equivalent to the
582 <c>--menuconfig</c> flag used by genkernel, which in turn uses the <c>make
583 menuconfig</c> command to invoke a command-line based kernel configuration
584 utility. To invoke the utility automatically during kernel configuration
585 via this script, set this option to 'yes' here; otherwise, choose 'no'.
586 </li>
587 <li>
588 <b>CLEAN=<c>[yes|no]</c></b>: Setting this option to 'yes' is equivalent to
589 the <c>--clean</c> flag used by genkernel, and invokes the <c>make
590 clean</c> command to remove all object files and dependencies from the
591 kernel's source tree. Setting this option to 'no' creates a cascade effect
592 &#8212; it is equivalent to genkernel's <c>--no-clean</c> flag, which
593 disables the <c>make clean</c> command and implies genkernel's
594 <c>--no-mrproper</c> flag &mdash; essentially nullifying the <c>make
595 mrproper</c> command.
596 </li>
597 <li>
598 <b>MRPROPER=<c>[yes|no]</c></b>: Setting this option to 'yes' is equivalent
599 to <c>--mrproper</c> flag used by genkernel, and invokes the <c>make
600 mrproper</c> command, which purges the kernel source tree of any
601 configuration files. Selecting 'no' here is equivalent to genkernel's
602 <c>--no-mrproper</c> flag, which disables the <c>make mrproper</c> command.
603 </li>
604 <li>
605 <b>MOUNTBOOT=<c>[yes|no]</c></b>: Setting this option to 'yes' is
606 equivalent to the <c>--mountboot</c> flag, and automatically mounts the
607 <path>/boot/</path> directory (if needed) at compile time. If the
608 <path>/boot/</path> directory is on a separate partition, consider enabling
609 this option; it will make for one less (essential) step to remember later.
610 </li>
611 <li>
612 <b>SAVE_CONFIG=<c>[yes|no]</c></b>: After configuring the kernel, the
613 selected options are stored as <path>.config</path> in the kernel source
614 tree. This script may be overwritten during the next kernel compilation, or
615 even purged from the kernel source tree. Choosing 'yes' here is equivalent
616 to the <c>--save-config</c> flag, and stores all options selected during
617 kernel configuration as a script in the <path>/etc/kernels/</path>
618 directory. Choosing 'no' preserves the <e>status quo</e>.
619 </li>
620 <li>
621 <b>USECOLOR=<c>[yes|no]</c></b>: Setting this option to 'yes' is equivalent
622 to the <c>--color</c> flag, which colors genkernel's output to ease
623 debugging (when needed.)
624 </li>
625 <li>
626 <b>LOGLEVEL=<c>[0|1|2|3|4|5]</c></b>: This option is for adjusting the
627 verbosity of the output produced by genkernel &mdash; setting this option to
628 '0' with <c>--loglevel=0</c> will suppress all output produced by
629 genkernel; setting this option to '5' with <c>--loglevel=5</c> provides
630 the user with all output produced by genkernel.
631 </li>
632 </ul>
634 <note>
635 More options are described in <path>/etc/genkernel.conf</path>.
636 </note>
638 <p>
639 By choosing the appropriate options in <path>/etc/genkernel.conf</path>, you
640 can halve the number of flags passed to genkernel from the command line:
641 </p>
643 <pre caption="Running genkernel (with flags), after employing genkernel.conf">
644 # <i>genkernel --splash --kerneldir=/path/to/alternate/kernel/sources \
645 --kernel-config=/path/to/preferred/configfile --install all</i>
646 </pre>
648 <p>
649 Identical results are obtained from both approaches, but the latter has most of
650 the options stored in a script that can be modified at a later date.
651 </p>
653 </body>
654 </section>
655 </chapter>
657 <chapter>
658 <title>Network-Booting with genkernel</title>
659 <section>
660 <title>Network Booting from an Installation CD</title>
661 <body>
663 <p>
664 The genkernel utility can build kernel and initrd images that provide support
665 for network booting, or <e>netboot</e>ing. With any luck, you should be able
666 to netboot any recent computer into the environment provided by the
667 Installation CD.
668 </p>
670 <p>
671 The magic lies in genkernel's linuxrc script: it will try to <e>netmount</e>
672 the Installation CD using NFS. From there, <e>the init scripts</e> of the
673 Installation CD can take over, as if the CD was present locally.
674 </p>
676 </body>
677 </section>
678 <section>
679 <title>Building Kernel and Initrd Images with Support for Netbooting</title>
680 <body>
682 <p>
683 To enable support for netbooting, include the following options while
684 configuring the kernel:
685 </p>
687 <warn>
688 Support for netbooting with genkernel is experimental and may contain bugs.
689 </warn>
691 <p>
692 First, the kernel image must include the drivers for your Network Interface
693 Cards (NIC). Normally, drivers for such devices will be compiled as modules.
694 However, it is essential (for netbooting) that you have such drivers compiled
695 directly into the kernel image and <b>not</b> as modules.
696 </p>
698 <pre caption="Configuring a 2.6.x series kernel to support your NIC driver">
699 Device Drivers --->
700 Networking Support --->
701 Ethernet (10 or 100Mbit) --->
702 [*] Ethernet (10 or 100Mbit)
703 &lt;*&gt; the driver for your network card
704 <comment>(Be sure to select &lt;*&gt; and not &lt;M&gt;)</comment>
705 </pre>
707 <p>
708 Secondly, we suggest that you enable <c>IP: kernel level autoconfiguration</c>
709 and the <c>IP: DHCP support</c> options. This avoids an unnecessary layer of
710 complexity since the IP address and the NFS path to the Installation CD can be
711 configured on a DHCP server. Of course, this means the kernel command line
712 will remain constant for any machine &mdash; which is very important for
713 <e>etherbooting</e>.
714 </p>
716 <pre caption="Configuring a 2.6.x series kernel to support DHCP">
717 Device Drivers --->
718 Networking Support --->
719 Networking options
720 [*] TCP/IP networking--->
721 [*] IP: kernel level autoconfiguration
722 [*] IP: DHCP support
723 <comment>(These options tell the kernel to send a DHCP request at bootup.)</comment>
724 </pre>
726 <p>
727 Additionally, you should enable SquashFS because most modern Gentoo
728 Installation CDs require it. Support for SquashFS is not included with the
729 generic kernel source tree. To enable SquashFS, apply the necessary patches to
730 the generic kernel source or install <c>gentoo-sources</c>.
731 </p>
733 <pre caption="Configuring the kernel to support SquashFS">
734 File systems--->
735 Miscellaneous filesystems --->
736 [*] SquashFS 2.X - Squashed file system support
737 </pre>
739 <p>
740 Once the compilation process is completed, create a compressed <e>tarball</e>
741 (tar.gz) that contains the kernel's modules. This step is only necessary if
742 your kernel version does not match the kernel image version on the Installation
743 CD.
744 </p>
746 <pre caption="Creating a compressed tarball containing the kernel modules">
747 <comment>(Create a tar.gz containing all the modules)</comment>
748 # <i>cd /</i>
749 # <i>tar -cf /tmp/modules-X.Y.Z.tar.gz /lib/modules/X.Y.Z/</i>
750 </pre>
752 <p>
753 Depending on your network boot mechanism, you will need to do some of the
754 following steps:
755 </p>
757 <pre caption="Creating a boot image">
758 <comment>(Create an etherboot image)</comment>
759 # <i>emerge mknbi</i>
760 # <i>cd /boot</i>
761 # <i>mkelf-linux -params="root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc ip=dhcp" kernel... initrd... > etherboot.img</i>
763 <comment>(Create a OpenBoot / SPARC64 TFTP image)</comment>
764 # <i>emerge sparc-utils</i>
765 # <i>cd /boot</i>
766 # <i>elftoaout kernel... -o kernel.aout</i>
767 # <i>piggyback64 kernel.aout System.map-... initrd-...</i>
768 # <i>mv kernel.aout openboot.img</i> <comment>(This is the boot image)</comment>
770 <comment>(PXE does not need any more steps, the kernel and initrd can be used as is)</comment>
771 </pre>
773 <p>
774 Finally, copy this kernel to your TFTP server. The details are
775 architecture-dependent and are beyond the scope of this guide. Please refer to
776 the documentation for your platform.
777 </p>
779 </body>
780 </section>
781 <section>
782 <title>NFS Setup</title>
783 <body>
785 <p>
786 To setup a NFS share that contains the Installation CD, use the loop device to
787 mount the ISO image and then copy the contents of the CD into the NFS share. As
788 a nice extra, genkernel's initrd scripts will extract all tar.gz files located
789 in the <path>/nfs/livecd/add/</path> directory. All you have to do here is copy
790 the <c>modules-X.Y.Z.tar.gz</c> archive to the <path>/nfs/livecd/add/</path>
791 directory.
792 </p>
794 <pre caption="Preparing the NFS share">
795 <comment>(This assumes that /nfs/livecd is an exported NFS share)</comment>
796 # <i>mount /tmp/gentoo-livecd.iso /mnt/cdrom -o loop</i>
797 # <i>cp -p /mnt/cdrom /nfs/livecd</i>
798 # <i>umount /mnt/cdrom</i>
800 <comment>(Copy the modules.tar.gz into /add)</comment>
801 # <i>mkdir /nfs/livecd/add</i>
802 # <i>cp /tmp/modules-X.Y.Z.tar.gz /nfs/livecd/add</i>
803 </pre>
805 </body>
806 </section>
807 <section>
808 <title>DHCP Setup</title>
809 <body>
811 <p>
812 The netboot images will ask your DHCP server for an IP as well as a root-path
813 parameter. Both can be specified per host using a MAC address to identify
814 machines:
815 </p>
817 <pre caption="Sample client dhcpd.conf setup">
818 ...
820 host netbootableMachine {
821 hardware ethernet 11:22:33:44:55:66;
822 fixed-address;
823 option root-path "";
824 }
825 <comment># Here, is the NFS server
826 # While will be the IP address of the netbooted machine</comment>
827 ...
828 </pre>
830 </body>
831 </section>
832 <section>
833 <title>Netbooting Instructions</title>
834 <body>
836 <p>
837 Netbooting itself is again very platform-specific. The important part is to
838 specify the <c>ip=dhcp</c> and <c>init=/linuxrc</c> parameters on the kernel
839 command line, as this will bring up the network interface and tell the initrd
840 scripts to mount the Installation CD via NFS. Here are some platform-specific
841 tips:
842 </p>
844 <pre caption="Netbooting Instructions">
845 <comment># Etherboot - insert the etherboot disk into the drive and reboot
846 # The kernel command line was specified when the image was constructed</comment>
848 <comment># Sparc64 - Hit Stop-A at the boot prompt</comment>
849 ok boot net ip=dhcp init=/linuxrc
851 <comment># PXE - Setup pxelinux (part of syslinux),
852 then create a pxelinux.cfg/default along the lines of:</comment>
854 DEFAULT gentoo
855 TIMEOUT 40
856 PROMPT 1
858 LABEL gentoo
859 KERNEL kernel-X.Y.Z
860 APPEND initrd=initrd-X.Y.Z root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc ip=dhcp
861 </pre>
863 </body>
864 </section>
865 </chapter>
867 <chapter>
868 <title>Conclusion</title>
869 <section>
870 <title>To Automate or not to Automate?</title>
871 <body>
873 <p>
874 The purpose of genkernel is to provide an (easier) alternative to the
875 time-tested approach to kernel compilation. As always, you are free to decide
876 on whether or not you want to automate the kernel compilation process.
877 </p>
879 </body>
880 </section>
881 </chapter>
882 </guide>

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