Version:  2.0.40 2.2.26 2.4.37 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10


Folder Documentation/
Folder arch/
Folder drivers/
Folder fs/
Folder include/
Folder init/
Folder ipc/
Folder kernel/
Folder lib/
Folder mm/
Folder net/
Folder scripts/
File COPYING 18485 bytes
File CREDITS 60841 bytes
File ChangeLog-2.2.26 1349 bytes
File MAINTAINERS 26305 bytes
File Makefile 14742 bytes
File README 13561 bytes
File REPORTING-BUGS 2733 bytes
File Rules.make 8586 bytes

  1         Linux kernel release 2.2.xx
  3 These are the release notes for Linux version 2.2.  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. 
  7 However, please make sure you don't ask questions which are already answered
  8 in various files in the Documentation directory.  See DOCUMENTATION below.
 12   Linux is a Unix clone written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with
 13   assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net.
 14   It aims towards POSIX compliance. 
 16   It has all the features you would expect in a modern fully-fledged
 17   Unix, including true multitasking, virtual memory, shared libraries,
 18   demand loading, shared copy-on-write executables, proper memory
 19   management and TCP/IP networking. 
 21   It is distributed under the GNU General Public License - see the
 22   accompanying COPYING file for more details. 
 26   Linux was first developed for 386/486-based PCs.  These days it also
 27   runs on ARMs, DEC Alphas, SUN Sparcs, M68000 machines (like Atari and
 28   Amiga), MIPS and PowerPC, and others.
 32  - There is a lot of documentation available both in electronic form on
 33    the Internet and in books, both Linux-specific and pertaining to
 34    general UNIX questions.  I'd recommend looking into the documentation
 35    subdirectories on any Linux FTP site for the LDP (Linux Documentation
 36    Project) books.  This README is not meant to be documentation on the
 37    system: there are much better sources available.
 39  - There are various README files in the Documentation/ subdirectory:
 40    these typically contain kernel-specific installation notes for some 
 41    drivers for example. See ./Documentation/00-INDEX for a list of what
 42    is contained in each file.  Please read the Changes file, as it
 43    contains information about the problems, which may result by upgrading
 44    your kernel.
 46 INSTALLING the kernel:
 48  - If you install the full sources, do a
 50                 cd /usr/src
 51                 gzip -cd linux-2.2.XX.tar.gz | tar xfv -
 53    to get it all put in place. Replace "XX" with the version number of the
 54    latest kernel.
 56  - You can also upgrade between 2.2.xx releases by patching.  Patches are
 57    distributed in the traditional gzip and the new bzip2 format.  To
 58    install by patching, get all the newer patch files and do
 60                 cd /usr/src
 61                 gzip -cd patchXX.gz | patch -p0
 63    or
 64                 cd /usr/src
 65                 bzip2 -dc patchXX.bz2 | patch -p0
 67    (repeat xx for all versions bigger than the version of your current
 68    source tree, _in_order_) and you should be ok.  You may want to remove
 69    the backup files (xxx~ or xxx.orig), and make sure that there are no
 70    failed patches (xxx# or xxx.rej). If there are, either you or me has
 71    made a mistake.
 73    Alternatively, the script patch-kernel can be used to automate this
 74    process.  It determines the current kernel version and applies any
 75    patches found.
 77                 cd /usr/src
 78                 linux/scripts/patch-kernel
 80    The default directory for the kernel source is /usr/src/linux, but
 81    can be specified as the first argument.  Patches are applied from
 82    the current directory, but an alternative directory can be specified
 83    as the second argument.
 85  - Make sure you have no stale .o files and dependencies lying around:
 87                 cd /usr/src/linux
 88                 make mrproper
 90    You should now have the sources correctly installed.
 94    Compiling and running the 2.2.xx kernels requires up-to-date
 95    versions of various software packages.  Consult
 96    ./Documentation/Changes for the minimum version numbers required
 97    and how to get updates for these packages.  Beware that using
 98    excessively old versions of these packages can cause indirect
 99    errors that are very difficult to track down, so don't assume that
100    you can just update packages when obvious problems arise during
101    build or operation.
103 CONFIGURING the kernel:
105  - Do a "make config" to configure the basic kernel.  "make config" needs
106    bash to work: it will search for bash in $BASH, /bin/bash and /bin/sh
107    (in that order), so one of those must be correct for it to work. 
109    Do not skip this step even if you are only upgrading one minor
110    version.  New configuration options are added in each release, and
111    odd problems will turn up if the configuration files are not set up
112    as expected.  If you want to carry your existing configuration to a
113    new version with minimal work, use "make oldconfig", which will
114    only ask you for the answers to new questions.
116  - Alternate configuration commands are:
117         "make menuconfig"  Text based color menus, radiolists & dialogs.
118         "make xconfig"     X windows based configuration tool.
119         "make oldconfig"   Default all questions based on the contents of
120                            your existing ./.config file.
122         NOTES on "make config":
123         - having unnecessary drivers will make the kernel bigger, and can
124           under some circumstances lead to problems: probing for a
125           nonexistent controller card may confuse your other controllers
126         - compiling the kernel with "Processor type" set higher than 386
127           will result in a kernel that does NOT work on a 386.  The
128           kernel will detect this on bootup, and give up.
129         - A kernel with math-emulation compiled in will still use the
130           coprocessor if one is present: the math emulation will just
131           never get used in that case.  The kernel will be slightly larger,
132           but will work on different machines regardless of whether they
133           have a math coprocessor or not. 
134         - the "kernel hacking" configuration details usually result in a
135           bigger or slower kernel (or both), and can even make the kernel
136           less stable by configuring some routines to actively try to
137           break bad code to find kernel problems (kmalloc()).  Thus you
138           should probably answer 'n' to the questions for
139           "development", "experimental", or "debugging" features.
141  - Check the top Makefile for further site-dependent configuration
142    (default SVGA mode etc). 
144  - Finally, do a "make dep" to set up all the dependencies correctly. 
146 COMPILING the kernel:
148  - Make sure you have gcc-2.7.2 or newer available.  It seems older gcc
149    versions can have problems compiling newer versions of Linux.  This
150    is mainly because the older compilers can only generate "a.out"-format
151    executables.  As of Linux 2.1.0, the kernel must be compiled as an
152    "ELF" binary.  If you upgrade your compiler, remember to get the new
153    binutils package too (for as/ld/nm and company).
155    Please note that you can still run a.out user programs with this
156    kernel.
158  - Do a "make zImage" to create a compressed kernel image.  If you want
159    to make a boot disk (without root filesystem or LILO), insert a floppy
160    in your A: drive, and do a "make zdisk".  It is also possible to do
161    "make zlilo" if you have lilo installed to suit the kernel makefiles,
162    but you may want to check your particular lilo setup first. 
164  - If your kernel is too large for "make zImage", use "make bzImage"
165    instead.
167  - If you configured any of the parts of the kernel as `modules', you
168    will have to do "make modules" followed by "make modules_install".
169    Read Documentation/modules.txt for more information.  For example,
170    an explanation of how to use the modules is included there.
172  - Keep a backup kernel handy in case something goes wrong.  This is 
173    especially true for the development releases, since each new release
174    contains new code which has not been debugged.  Make sure you keep a
175    backup of the modules corresponding to that kernel, as well.  If you
176    are installing a new kernel with the same version number as your
177    working kernel, make a backup of your modules directory before you
178    do a "make modules_install".
180  - In order to boot your new kernel, you'll need to copy the kernel
181    image (found in /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/boot/zImage after compilation)
182    to the place where your regular bootable kernel is found. 
184    For some, this is on a floppy disk, in which case you can "cp
185    /usr/src/linux/arch/i386/boot/zImage /dev/fd0" to make a bootable
186    floppy.  Please note that you can not boot a kernel by
187    directly dumping it to a 720k double-density 3.5" floppy.  In this
188    case, it is highly recommended that you install LILO on your
189    double-density boot floppy or switch to high-density floppies.
191    If you boot Linux from the hard drive, chances are you use LILO which
192    uses the kernel image as specified in the file /etc/lilo.conf.  The
193    kernel image file is usually /vmlinuz, or /zImage, or /etc/zImage. 
194    To use the new kernel, save a copy of the old image and copy the new
195    image over the old one.  Then, you MUST RERUN LILO to update the
196    loading map!! If you don't, you won't be able to boot the new kernel
197    image. 
199    Reinstalling LILO is usually a matter of running /sbin/lilo. 
200    You may wish to edit /etc/lilo.conf to specify an entry for your
201    old kernel image (say, /vmlinux.old) in case the new one does not
202    work.  See the LILO docs for more information. 
204    After reinstalling LILO, you should be all set.  Shutdown the system,
205    reboot, and enjoy!
207    If you ever need to change the default root device, video mode,
208    ramdisk size, etc.  in the kernel image, use the 'rdev' program (or
209    alternatively the LILO boot options when appropriate).  No need to
210    recompile the kernel to change these parameters. 
212  - Reboot with the new kernel and enjoy. 
216  - If you have problems that seem to be due to kernel bugs, please check
217    the file MAINTAINERS to see if there is a particular person associated
218    with the part of the kernel that you are having trouble with. If there
219    isn't anyone listed there, then the second best thing is to mail
220    them to me (, and possibly to any other
221    relevant mailing-list or to the newsgroup.  The mailing-lists are
222    useful especially for SCSI and networking problems, as I can't test
223    either of those personally anyway. 
225  - In all bug-reports, *please* tell what kernel you are talking about,
226    how to duplicate the problem, and what your setup is (use your common
227    sense).  If the problem is new, tell me so, and if the problem is
228    old, please try to tell me when you first noticed it.
230  - If the bug results in a message like
232         unable to handle kernel paging request at address C0000010
233         Oops: 0002
234         EIP:   0010:XXXXXXXX
235         eax: xxxxxxxx   ebx: xxxxxxxx   ecx: xxxxxxxx   edx: xxxxxxxx
236         esi: xxxxxxxx   edi: xxxxxxxx   ebp: xxxxxxxx
237         ds: xxxx  es: xxxx  fs: xxxx  gs: xxxx
238         Pid: xx, process nr: xx
239         xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx
241    or similar kernel debugging information on your screen or in your
242    system log, please duplicate it *exactly*.  The dump may look
243    incomprehensible to you, but it does contain information that may
244    help debugging the problem.  The text above the dump is also
245    important: it tells something about why the kernel dumped code (in
246    the above example it's due to a bad kernel pointer). More information
247    on making sense of the dump is in Documentation/oops-tracing.txt
249  - You can use the "ksymoops" program to make sense of the dump.  Find
250    the C++ sources under the scripts/ directory to avoid having to do
251    the dump lookup by hand:
253  - In debugging dumps like the above, it helps enormously if you can
254    look up what the EIP value means.  The hex value as such doesn't help
255    me or anybody else very much: it will depend on your particular
256    kernel setup.  What you should do is take the hex value from the EIP
257    line (ignore the "0010:"), and look it up in the kernel namelist to
258    see which kernel function contains the offending address.
260    To find out the kernel function name, you'll need to find the system
261    binary associated with the kernel that exhibited the symptom.  This is
262    the file 'linux/vmlinux'.  To extract the namelist and match it against
263    the EIP from the kernel crash, do:
265                 nm vmlinux | sort | less
267    This will give you a list of kernel addresses sorted in ascending
268    order, from which it is simple to find the function that contains the
269    offending address.  Note that the address given by the kernel
270    debugging messages will not necessarily match exactly with the
271    function addresses (in fact, that is very unlikely), so you can't
272    just 'grep' the list: the list will, however, give you the starting
273    point of each kernel function, so by looking for the function that
274    has a starting address lower than the one you are searching for but
275    is followed by a function with a higher address you will find the one
276    you want.  In fact, it may be a good idea to include a bit of
277    "context" in your problem report, giving a few lines around the
278    interesting one. 
280    If you for some reason cannot do the above (you have a pre-compiled
281    kernel image or similar), telling me as much about your setup as
282    possible will help. 
284  - Alternately, you can use gdb on a running kernel. (read-only; i.e. you
285    cannot change values or set break points.) To do this, first compile the
286    kernel with -g; edit arch/i386/Makefile appropriately, then do a "make
287    clean". You'll also need to enable CONFIG_PROC_FS (via "make config").
289    After you've rebooted with the new kernel, do "gdb vmlinux /proc/kcore".
290    You can now use all the usual gdb commands. The command to look up the
291    point where your system crashed is "l *0xXXXXXXXX". (Replace the XXXes
292    with the EIP value.)
294    gdb'ing a non-running kernel currently fails because gdb (wrongly)
295    disregards the starting offset for which the kernel is compiled.

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