Techniques for upgrading and customizing the Linux kernel
If you work with third-party hardware drivers, or even if you just need to fix a broken system, someday you might need to upgrade the Linux kernel.
A technical expert will tell you that the kernel is the Linux – the Hardware Abstraction Layer and everything else you see on your screen is mostly application software from the GNU collection. Linux is the operating system core that makes a computer usable in a Unix-like way. On the technical level, a kernel consists of the following basic components:
- support for hardware and corresponding drivers;
- a so-called scheduler, which distributes available computing power (CPU cycles) and hardware resources among application programs, thus allowing the programs to run independently of each other without causing deadlocks or conflicts;
- a virtual memory and filesystem manager that makes memory and disk space available to programs.
Most users just accept the kernel that comes with their Linux distro without seriously tinkering with it. However, if you happen to need a driver or system component that isn't built into your Linux system, or even if you just like tinkering, you might one day face the task of replacing, rebuilding, or extending the kernel running on your system. In this article, I describe some techniques for working with the Linux kernel.
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