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#1 2009-02-26 03:27:21

f4hy
Member
From: Pittsburgh Pa
Registered: 2009-02-08
Posts: 53

Kernel building with abs is convoluted

Looking through the wiki on how to compile a custom kernel there is three ways:
* The "Traditional Way"              http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Ker … rom_Source
* "Kernel Compilation with ABS" http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Ker … n_with_ABS
* "Custom with ABS"                 http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Cus … n_with_ABS

The confusing part is even the Traditional Way uses the makepkg build system, and NONE of them use the PKGBUILD from the /var/abs directory which is the only way to get the kernel with the abs command.

So far I have been using the Traditional Way, which still uses makepkg and pacman. However I would like to do this the real arch way, but to me the 'simple' way to do this would be to get a PKGBUILD out of the /var/abs directory. So my question is; What is the purpose of /var/abs/core/kernel26 if everything on the wiki says to build with some PKGBUILD copied from various wiki pages? Shouldn't the way to build with abs be to actually use the one from abs? If these other ways of building with abs are better, why are those PKGBUILD's not the one placed in the abs tree?

Sorry for all of my confusion but this just appears to be a place where arch deviates from the keep it simple idea and just want some clarification.

Last edited by f4hy (2009-03-01 23:02:58)

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#2 2009-02-26 03:41:02

big_gie
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Registered: 2005-01-19
Posts: 637

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

All this is a mess. What you will learn on the wiki is how pkgbuild works, and what can be included in the kernel26's pkgbuild. The wikis are outdated: Kernel Compilation with ABS was updated in 2006, Custom Kernel Compilation with ABS in 2005 (ignoring small corrections in 2008).

Why? Because if nobody update the wikis, then they become outdated quite fast. Which version is most up to date? Arch's official one. So basically you should base yourself on it. Maybe a new kernel need a specific file removal (to prevent conflicting), etc. Just look at the official pkgbuild. There is many "hacks".

What I proposed some time ago was to change the official pkbuild in a way that would ease the compilation of a custom kernel. With these simple modifications, just grab the official pkgbuild from /var/abs/..., add "-mynewkernel" (or whatever fit your needs) to the package name variable (pkgname=kernel26-mynewkernel), change the config/add patch/remove-add something/etc and type makepkg. Voila, you have a kernel built the same way as the official one which you can install side by side.

Many said it was useful but I can't get the devs to accept this... I think it needs more pressure from users. So if you find it useful or would like to have that feature, make some noise! smile

You will find a forum post about it here: http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=37579
and a bug report here: http://bugs.archlinux.org/task/12384
and a mailing list dicussion here: http://www.mail-archive.com/arch-genera … 02954.html

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#3 2009-02-26 03:48:01

f4hy
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From: Pittsburgh Pa
Registered: 2009-02-08
Posts: 53

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

Thank you very much. I wanted to use the one in /var/abs/ since that seems to be the arch way to do things but was confused why nothing pointed to using that, so I assumed something must be wrong with doing it that way. Glad my initial hunch was correct.

Just to clarify though, when you say you can't get the devs to accept this, what do you mean? They have some reason for people not to use the one from /var/abs? Wouldn't they be the ones who create the one in /var/abs? Or is abs maintained by something completely different from the arch kernel hackers?

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#4 2009-02-26 03:57:18

Ranguvar
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Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

I agree completely that the Arch kernel system is convoluted. No offense, Arch devs smile

I'm going to be giving it some serious thought once I get some other stuff done... the system I liked the most out of all the distros I tried was Gentoo's, I loved that part of Gentoo.

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#5 2009-02-26 04:44:54

big_gie
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Registered: 2005-01-19
Posts: 637

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

@f4hy
With abs, arch provides an access to how packages are built. It is easy to recompile something. It does need manual care though. You cannot modify things in /var/abs, makepkg/install and sync again abs: it will delete your modifications. But it is extremely simple.
But the kernel is a special package, IMO. I can try compiling firefox myself, and I know that if it does not work I can go back with a simple pacman -S firefox. But the kernel is more tricky: I don't want to rebuild the official kernel without a failsafe. A bad kernel means an unbootable machine, while a bad firefox build just means firefox does not works. So people created custom pkgbuild to bypass this and install the kernel side-by-side so in the case something went wrong, you still have the official one. This is why you have many post about it here, and many wiki pages. Nobody really tried to merge there changes into the official one, mainly because these changes were invasive: compare the pkgbuilds from the wiki and the official one. They are really distinct.
What I meant by the devs not accepting the modifications I proposed was that I did not received positive feedback from them. I think I should have called them "maintainers" of the kernel26 package instead of devs, but anyway. tpowa and phrakture seemed interested but brain0 did not replied at all. I suspect they are well occupied with other more vital stuff and this would be low in the priority list. This is why I was asking users to give feedback. Its not that they do not want users not to use the official abs' one. And I think it would even be easier for them if users could easily try it: more feedback from users is always a good thing, this is how open source works.
So basically it all comes down to time and priorities. I would still like to see something like that included in the official package.

@Ranguvar
I agreee that a vital package like the kernel need some special love. With gentoo you don't even have a system for managing the kernel, you build it manually. emerge just download and untar the source. You configure it, compile it and install it wherever you like. You can overwrite your old kernel if you want, or you can put it side-by-side, put it in a completely irrelevant places (breaking it) or not compile it or install it at all... So it is even more simple then arch!! big_smile

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#6 2009-02-26 05:09:12

f4hy
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From: Pittsburgh Pa
Registered: 2009-02-08
Posts: 53

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

Unfortunatly the /var/abs PKGBUILD is not as simple as you described. Simply changing the package name fails since the file then uses ${pkgname}.preset. A simple fix but just thought I should let you know that the /var/abs needs to be hacked around a bit to get it to do what you want.

I will play with the PKGBUILD to get it to do everything I want, but at the unfortunate state of these abs build I would not recommend building the kernel with abs at all and to just to it manually.

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#7 2009-02-26 05:21:37

broch
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Posts: 975

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

wrong tread
sorry

Last edited by broch (2009-02-26 05:23:38)

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#8 2009-02-26 05:23:19

methuselah
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Registered: 2007-10-02
Posts: 570

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

You can try kludge's AUR package: http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=23467

It pulls the kernel, patches it with the same -ARCH patch and config files, gives it a new name to install everything as a parallel kernel, and it uses the "make menuconfig" command in the PKGBUILD so you can customize for your hardware.

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#9 2009-02-26 07:11:19

zyghom
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Posts: 430
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Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

f4hy wrote:

Unfortunatly the /var/abs PKGBUILD is not as simple as you described

hmm, for my laptop (MSI GX700) I have to rebuild the kernel every time it is time to change, due to special f...g BIOS in this machine, which gives problems with ACPI and 4GB memory

so, I added just 2 patches to the official /var/abs/core/kernel26/PKGBUILD and ... voila
the only negative I see is: it takes time - like 40 minutes
no other side effects

so, I don't agree that abs is bad - maybe it is just not so easy/described on wiki
but only maybe


Zygfryd Homonto

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#10 2009-02-26 12:22:41

.:B:.
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Registered: 2006-11-26
Posts: 5,819

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

Kernel compilation is a resource-intensive process. I think for one the PKGBUILD is quite easy. I agree it may look daunting, though smile.

I build my own kernels and every now and then I have to check the configuration to make sure I still have everything (since upgrades make things obsolete etc.). But other than that, it's just adapting a few variables here and there, maybe some new names, fix the checksum part, and run that baby.

And with a stripped kernel that doesn't take as long as with the full Arch kernel wink. If you are gonna rebuild the thing anyway you might as well strip what you don't use or need (tons of drivers, for example).

[stijn@hermes ~]$ du -hs /lib/modules/2.6.28.7-vaio/
4,7M    /lib/modules/2.6.28.7-vaio/
[stijn@hermes ~]$ ll /boot/vmlinuz26vaio 
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1,7M feb 21 16:57 /boot/vmlinuz26vaio

Got Leenucks? :: Arch: Power in simplicity :: Get Counted! Registered Linux User #392717 :: Blog thingy

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#11 2009-02-26 15:06:17

big_gie
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Registered: 2005-01-19
Posts: 637

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

f4hy wrote:

Unfortunatly the /var/abs PKGBUILD is not as simple as you described. Simply changing the package name fails since the file then uses ${pkgname}.preset. A simple fix but just thought I should let you know that the /var/abs needs to be hacked around a bit to get it to do what you want.

I will play with the PKGBUILD to get it to do everything I want, but at the unfortunate state of these abs build I would not recommend building the kernel with abs at all and to just to it manually.

Sorry I did not make myself clear. The actual pkgbuild does not support this. As you seen, taking the pkgbuild from abs will build the same kernel as the official one, overwritting it at installation.

So I have made some simple modifications to the pkgbuild that I posted on the thread and bug report which _would_ allow changing the pkgname to get a completely new kernel. You can then change the configuration file to your liking, and build a super lean kernel like B did wink

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#12 2009-02-26 15:19:50

zyghom
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From: Poland/Tanzania
Registered: 2006-05-11
Posts: 430
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Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

B wrote:
[stijn@hermes ~]$ du -hs /lib/modules/2.6.28.7-vaio/
4,7M    /lib/modules/2.6.28.7-vaio/

you killed me here: mine is 69M


Zygfryd Homonto

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#13 2009-02-26 15:24:53

big_gie
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Registered: 2005-01-19
Posts: 637

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

Mine's 14M, we still have some stripping to do! smile

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#14 2009-02-26 15:28:17

broch
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Posts: 975

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

big_gie wrote:
f4hy wrote:

Unfortunatly the /var/abs PKGBUILD is not as simple as you described. Simply changing the package name fails since the file then uses ${pkgname}.preset. A simple fix but just thought I should let you know that the /var/abs needs to be hacked around a bit to get it to do what you want.

I will play with the PKGBUILD to get it to do everything I want, but at the unfortunate state of these abs build I would not recommend building the kernel with abs at all and to just to it manually.

Sorry I did not make myself clear. The actual pkgbuild does not support this. As you seen, taking the pkgbuild from abs will build the same kernel as the official one, overwritting it at installation.

So I have made some simple modifications to the pkgbuild that I posted on the thread and bug report which _would_ allow changing the pkgname to get a completely new kernel. You can then change the configuration file to your liking, and build a super lean kernel like B did wink

why you are trying to make simple thing so complicated? I have four kernels installed and working. One does not need gentoo (??) as you are trying to suggest. Any distro will do including Arch obviously.

simply edit .config and modify
CONFIG_LOCALVERSION=""

you will end up with this:
ls -l /boot
total 18M
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 797K 2008-10-05 17:39 System.map
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 824K 2009-02-23 18:32 System.map-2.6.28.7-grsec-CHACONNE
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 834K 2009-02-17 09:30 System.map-2.6.29-rc5-zen2-RIGAUDON
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 832K 2009-02-26 07:17 System.map-2.6.29-rc6-zen1-RIGAUDON
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 789K 2009-02-22 03:06 System.map26
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 672K 2007-06-23 00:02 System.old
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 5.0K 2007-11-15 11:59 diag1.img
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 1.0K 2009-02-23 18:33 grub/
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  79K 2008-03-10 08:01 kconfig26.pacnew
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  71K 2007-06-22 17:56 kconfig26.pacsave
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2.5M 2009-02-24 05:06 kernel26-fallback.img
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 711K 2009-02-24 05:06 kernel26.img
drwx------ 2 root root  12K 2007-06-22 09:46 lost+found/
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.7M 2008-10-05 17:39 vmlinuz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.7M 2009-02-23 18:32 vmlinuz-2.6.28.7-grsec-CHACONNE
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.7M 2009-02-17 09:30 vmlinuz-2.6.29-rc5-zen2-RIGAUDON
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.7M 2009-02-26 07:17 vmlinuz-2.6.29-rc6-zen1-RIGAUDON
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.5M 2007-06-23 00:02 vmlinuz.old
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.7M 2009-02-22 03:06 vmlinuz26

all working and booting to GUI without video driver re-installation each time.

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#15 2009-02-26 17:47:27

f4hy
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From: Pittsburgh Pa
Registered: 2009-02-08
Posts: 53

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

simply edit .config and modify
CONFIG_LOCALVERSION=""

Um.. no. I just tried that to make sure becuase I know it does not work like that. Not with the abs PKGBUILD anyway.

cp -a /var/abs/core/kernel26 .
#edit .config/.config.x86_64 to change CONFIG_LOCALVERSION
makepkg -c
pacman -U (package)

This installs directly over the old kernel. /boot will not have any new files. While you can change the PKGBUILD file to make this work, but then you are using something more like the wiki entries and not using abs.

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#16 2009-02-26 18:24:44

big_gie
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Registered: 2005-01-19
Posts: 637

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

broch wrote:

why you are trying to make simple thing so complicated?

On the opposite: I think what I suggested is more simple then 10 different ways of building a custom kernels, with some outdated, others not working, etc.

broch wrote:

One does not need gentoo (??) as you are trying to suggest. Any distro will do including Arch obviously.

I did not tried to suggest gentoo has the only way to install custom kernel. Gentoo has a very different approach for kernel installation: it does nothing. All the emerge, gentoo's package manager, does is to unpack and patch the kernel source in /usr/src. You manually configure it and install it to /boot. Arch's makepkg/pacman do all this for you.

broch wrote:

simply edit .config and modify
CONFIG_LOCALVERSION=""

you will end up with this:
ls -l /boot
total 18M
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 797K 2008-10-05 17:39 System.map
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 824K 2009-02-23 18:32 System.map-2.6.28.7-grsec-CHACONNE
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 834K 2009-02-17 09:30 System.map-2.6.29-rc5-zen2-RIGAUDON
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 832K 2009-02-26 07:17 System.map-2.6.29-rc6-zen1-RIGAUDON
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 789K 2009-02-22 03:06 System.map26
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 672K 2007-06-23 00:02 System.old
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 5.0K 2007-11-15 11:59 diag1.img
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 1.0K 2009-02-23 18:33 grub/
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  79K 2008-03-10 08:01 kconfig26.pacnew
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  71K 2007-06-22 17:56 kconfig26.pacsave
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2.5M 2009-02-24 05:06 kernel26-fallback.img
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 711K 2009-02-24 05:06 kernel26.img
drwx------ 2 root root  12K 2007-06-22 09:46 lost+found/
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.7M 2008-10-05 17:39 vmlinuz
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.7M 2009-02-23 18:32 vmlinuz-2.6.28.7-grsec-CHACONNE
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.7M 2009-02-17 09:30 vmlinuz-2.6.29-rc5-zen2-RIGAUDON
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.7M 2009-02-26 07:17 vmlinuz-2.6.29-rc6-zen1-RIGAUDON
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.5M 2007-06-23 00:02 vmlinuz.old
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1.7M 2009-02-22 03:06 vmlinuz26

all working and booting to GUI without video driver re-installation each time.

I am pretty sure you won't. There are many other places not affected by localversion. For example the source's location, the module directory (that's why you don't need to reinstall some drivers) or more importantly the mkinitcpio.conf file. You might end up with file conflicts because custom kernel and official one install files at the same place! So removing custom kernel would break the official one, and vice-versa. Not a good thing...

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#17 2009-02-26 20:34:34

broch
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Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

I am pretty sure you won't. There are many other places not affected by localversion.

the only thing that localversion affects is kernel name so one don't have to worry about overwritting kernels. This was the whole point of not owerwritting kernels.
however another (but useless) point is kernel location:

For example the source's location, the module directory (that's why you don't need to reinstall some drivers) or more importantly the mkinitcpio.conf file. You might end up with file conflicts because custom kernel and official one install files at the same place! So removing custom kernel would break the official one, and vice-versa. Not a good thing...

1) you can use symlinks. few years ago this was in fact default setting: in /usr/src you had "linux" symlink pointing to the sources
2) i don't use initrd/don't need mkinitcpio. but I had few versions of mkinitcpio when I started using Arch. I left default for Arch official kernel and I was using mkinitcpio command to point to the location of specific mkinitcpio.conf with whatever tweaks I added. So default kernel never was affected by customization of image settings.
3) no, possible conflicts between default and custom kernel are figment of your imagination. A lot of distros provide "distro specific" kernel sources with selected patches and tweak. user could download these customized sources and compile own kernel alongside existing default. Looks like you are making things up.
I would like to see how removing custom kernel would break default one

My point is that if you know how to help op then help him instead of ranting about gentoo, custom patches submitted and so on.

If one wants to build custom kernel then download sources from www.kernel.org
- extract sources in /usr/src (this will not overwrite Arch default kernel)
- if never done this before, extract Arch config file(starting point to learn) if needed modify localversion. Build kernel copy inmage to /boot
- modify grub/lilo
- reboot
if it works. you done
if it does not, you still have default Arch kernel. So after booting to default kernel one can start again.

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#18 2009-02-26 20:57:12

big_gie
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Registered: 2005-01-19
Posts: 637

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

Re-reading your first post I think I confused something. I think that you were talking about downloading directly from kernel.org, untart, configure and make, basically commenting on http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Ker … rom_Source right? I though you were talking about pkgbuilds. I would prefer the pkgbuild. I do not want to compile on my eeepc for many reasons: ssd, speed (single processor, processor speed, ram/disk speed), etc. So I prefer building a package on another machine which I download after.

I think we are just arguing over different things. As the topic says, the thread is about kernel compilation using abs, not manually. And nobody could have guessed that you don't need a initramfs in you particular case.

As for conflicts, yes they can occur with _any_ packages. If an installed package own file Z, and new different package to install also contain Z, you cannot install the new one without overwriting Z. Thus Z is now owned by the second package. If you then remove that package, Z disappear and the first package is now broken.

How am I ranting about gentoo? I'm was describing how they manage kernel installation, thats all. No reason to be aggressive. f4hy was asking for clarifications on kernel compilation with abs. I told him its not possible actually to build a custom kernel using abs without using the outdated wiki (which shouldn't be done) or modify the official pkgbuild if you don't want to risk breaking your machine. Again, we are talking about how Arch manages kernel compilation/installation.

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#19 2009-02-26 21:58:05

f4hy
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From: Pittsburgh Pa
Registered: 2009-02-08
Posts: 53

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

the only thing that localversion affects is kernel name so one don't have to worry about overwritting kernels. This was the whole point of not owerwritting kernels.

Changing the localversion does NOT change the name of the kernel when using ABS. This is my whole point. Because changing the localversion does not change the output of buiding from /var/abs/core/kernel26/PKGBUILD. Change localversion to whatever you want it will still overwrite the default kernel.

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#20 2009-02-27 02:54:33

broch
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Posts: 975

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

open PKGBUILD
and change
_cfgname:

This optional field will be part of the package name. It should briefly indicate what type of choices were made in the kernel config. Examples would be "sn45g" to indicate the config is customized for a particular kind of computer, or "test" to indicate you are testing a different configuration, or "nofb" if you disabled the framebuffer. It is strongly recommended that you leave this blank ("") to indicate a stock Arch kernel config. You could also use this field to indicate architecture restrictions of the kernel from makepkg.conf compile options - "athlon" perhaps for an athlon specific build.

and

_cfgname: [optional - set to "" to not use]
#    This value is an identifier used to indicate how the kernel is
#    configured.  Whereas patchset should indicate manipulations to then
#    source tree, here you should indicate changes to the default config.
#    Examples:
#    sn45g - The kernel is configured with drivers and modules found in
#       Shuttle's SN45G XPC.
#    test - This kernel is a test of a different or new configuration
#    Recommendation: You may use hyphens but I strongly suggest underscores
#       instead.  Leave blank ("") to indicate the kernel is configured
#       with the same options as the current Arch stock kernel package.

Last edited by broch (2009-02-27 03:00:36)

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#21 2009-02-27 02:58:53

f4hy
Member
From: Pittsburgh Pa
Registered: 2009-02-08
Posts: 53

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

grep extra /var/abs/core/kernel26/PKGBUILD
NO RESULTS

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#22 2009-02-27 03:06:50

broch
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From: L.A. California
Registered: 2006-11-13
Posts: 975

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

cat /var/abs/core/kernel26/config | grep -i localversion
CONFIG_LOCALVERSION="-ARCH"

change "-ARCH" to whatever
this will change /lib/modules/ from default
2.6.28-ARCH to 2.6.28-WATEVER

next edit PKGBUILD
and change
cp arch/$KARCH/boot/bzImage $startdir/pkg/boot/vmlinuz26
cp System.map $startdir/pkg/boot/System.map26

see if this will work

Last edited by broch (2009-02-27 03:50:53)

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#23 2009-02-27 03:12:02

f4hy
Member
From: Pittsburgh Pa
Registered: 2009-02-08
Posts: 53

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

Um.. no it doesn't again. Read my post a like 3 posts ago. I explain specifically how localversion does not allow to install in parallel with the abs version.

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#24 2009-02-27 03:19:58

haxit
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From: /home/haxit
Registered: 2008-03-04
Posts: 1,247
Website

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

zyghom wrote:
B wrote:
[stijn@hermes ~]$ du -hs /lib/modules/2.6.28.7-vaio/
4,7M    /lib/modules/2.6.28.7-vaio/

you killed me here: mine is 69M

Ye exactly! Can you teach me B?


Archi686 User | Old Screenshots | Old .Configs
Vi veri universum vivus vici.

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#25 2009-02-27 03:47:32

big_gie
Member
Registered: 2005-01-19
Posts: 637

Re: Kernel building with abs is convoluted

broch wrote:

open PKGBUILD
and change
_cfgname:
[...]

This is from the Kernel_Compilation_with_ABS's wiki article. Yes it will build a custom kernel. BUT, it does not do the same as the _official_ pkgbuild. This is a completely new pkgbuild, or better put: a fork. And with any fork, they need to be supported separately, which is hard with a wiki.

Arch's maintainers test the kernel they build. My question is: why not take advantage of that? The official pkgbuild has all the testing of _all_ arch's users. Arch's maintainers apply some patches to the vanilla kernel that might help hardware support. So I'm asking for the best official pkgbuild possible.

I don't say the wiki entry is not of good quality. On the opposite: it might be even better. But why a wiki entry should be of better quality then the official one? If so much work is done on a wiki entry, I expect more work to be put on the official one. f4hy wanted to build a kernel as similar as arch's one, but with some light changes. Because the kernel is such a vital package, a small change can have a disastrous effect. So changing the official pkgbuild is tricky.

This arguments is recurring. There is always users who want a safe way of building an official kernel. The wiki is good, but it should point to the official work as much as possible. Out of tree development is bad. I know that I preach for my own work, but I'm open to discussion and critics. I think what I proposed would be a major plus to the Arch community.

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