11.7. Compiling the Kernel

Compiling a “bzImage” is recommanded. As a rule, this avoids the problem of the kernel getting too large, as can easily happen if you select too many features and create a “zImage”. You will then get error messages like kernel too big or System is too big.

After customizing the kernel configuration, start compilation by entering (remember to change into the directory /usr/src/linux, first):

make clean
make bzImage

These two commands can be entered as one command line:

make clean bzImage

After a successful compilation, find the compressed kernel in /usr/src/linux/arch/<arch>/boot. The kernel image — the file that contains the kernel — is called vmlinux.gz.

If you cannot find this file, an error probably occurred during the kernel compilation. In the Bash shell, enter the following command to launch the kernel compilation again and write the output to a file kernel.out:

make bzImage 2>&1 | tee kernel.out

If you have configured parts of your kernel to load as modules, launch the module compilation. Do this with make modules.