1        Linux kernel release 3.x <>
3These are the release notes for Linux version 3. Read them carefully,
4as they tell you what this is all about, explain how to install the
5kernel, and what to do if something goes wrong.
9  Linux is a clone of the operating system Unix, written from scratch by
10  Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across
11  the Net. It aims towards POSIX and Single UNIX Specification compliance.
13  It has all the features you would expect in a modern fully-fledged Unix,
14  including true multitasking, virtual memory, shared libraries, demand
15  loading, shared copy-on-write executables, proper memory management,
16  and multistack networking including IPv4 and IPv6.
18  It is distributed under the GNU General Public License - see the
19  accompanying COPYING file for more details.
23  Although originally developed first for 32-bit x86-based PCs (386 or higher),
24  today Linux also runs on (at least) the Compaq Alpha AXP, Sun SPARC and
25  UltraSPARC, Motorola 68000, PowerPC, PowerPC64, ARM, Hitachi SuperH, Cell,
26  IBM S/390, MIPS, HP PA-RISC, Intel IA-64, DEC VAX, AMD x86-64, AXIS CRIS,
27  Xtensa, Tilera TILE, AVR32 and Renesas M32R architectures.
29  Linux is easily portable to most general-purpose 32- or 64-bit architectures
30  as long as they have a paged memory management unit (PMMU) and a port of the
31  GNU C compiler (gcc) (part of The GNU Compiler Collection, GCC). Linux has
32  also been ported to a number of architectures without a PMMU, although
33  functionality is then obviously somewhat limited.
34  Linux has also been ported to itself. You can now run the kernel as a
35  userspace application - this is called UserMode Linux (UML).
39 - There is a lot of documentation available both in electronic form on
40   the Internet and in books, both Linux-specific and pertaining to
41   general UNIX questions. I'd recommend looking into the documentation
42   subdirectories on any Linux FTP site for the LDP (Linux Documentation
43   Project) books. This README is not meant to be documentation on the
44   system: there are much better sources available.
46 - There are various README files in the Documentation/ subdirectory:
47   these typically contain kernel-specific installation notes for some
48   drivers for example. See Documentation/00-INDEX for a list of what
49   is contained in each file. Please read the Changes file, as it
50   contains information about the problems, which may result by upgrading
51   your kernel.
53 - The Documentation/DocBook/ subdirectory contains several guides for
54   kernel developers and users. These guides can be rendered in a
55   number of formats: PostScript (.ps), PDF, HTML, & man-pages, among others.
56   After installation, "make psdocs", "make pdfdocs", "make htmldocs",
57   or "make mandocs" will render the documentation in the requested format.
59INSTALLING the kernel source:
61 - If you install the full sources, put the kernel tarball in a
62   directory where you have permissions (eg. your home directory) and
63   unpack it:
65     gzip -cd linux-3.X.tar.gz | tar xvf -
67   or
69     bzip2 -dc linux-3.X.tar.bz2 | tar xvf -
71   Replace "X" with the version number of the latest kernel.
73   Do NOT use the /usr/src/linux area! This area has a (usually
74   incomplete) set of kernel headers that are used by the library header
75   files. They should match the library, and not get messed up by
76   whatever the kernel-du-jour happens to be.
78 - You can also upgrade between 3.x releases by patching. Patches are
79   distributed in the traditional gzip and the newer bzip2 format. To
80   install by patching, get all the newer patch files, enter the
81   top level directory of the kernel source (linux-3.X) and execute:
83     gzip -cd ../patch-3.x.gz | patch -p1
85   or
87     bzip2 -dc ../patch-3.x.bz2 | patch -p1
89   Replace "x" for all versions bigger than the version "X" of your current
90   source tree, _in_order_, and you should be ok. You may want to remove
91   the backup files (some-file-name~ or some-file-name.orig), and make sure
92   that there are no failed patches (some-file-name# or some-file-name.rej).
93   If there are, either you or I have made a mistake.
95   Unlike patches for the 3.x kernels, patches for the 3.x.y kernels
96   (also known as the -stable kernels) are not incremental but instead apply
97   directly to the base 3.x kernel. For example, if your base kernel is 3.0
98   and you want to apply the 3.0.3 patch, you must not first apply the 3.0.1
99   and 3.0.2 patches. Similarly, if you are running kernel version 3.0.2 and
100   want to jump to 3.0.3, you must first reverse the 3.0.2 patch (that is,
101   patch -R) _before_ applying the 3.0.3 patch. You can read more on this in
102   Documentation/applying-patches.txt
104   Alternatively, the script patch-kernel can be used to automate this
105   process. It determines the current kernel version and applies any
106   patches found.
108     linux/scripts/patch-kernel linux
110   The first argument in the command above is the location of the
111   kernel source. Patches are applied from the current directory, but
112   an alternative directory can be specified as the second argument.
114 - Make sure you have no stale .o files and dependencies lying around:
116     cd linux
117     make mrproper
119   You should now have the sources correctly installed.
123   Compiling and running the 3.x kernels requires up-to-date
124   versions of various software packages. Consult
125   Documentation/Changes for the minimum version numbers required
126   and how to get updates for these packages. Beware that using
127   excessively old versions of these packages can cause indirect
128   errors that are very difficult to track down, so don't assume that
129   you can just update packages when obvious problems arise during
130   build or operation.
132BUILD directory for the kernel:
134   When compiling the kernel, all output files will per default be
135   stored together with the kernel source code.
136   Using the option "make O=output/dir" allow you to specify an alternate
137   place for the output files (including .config).
138   Example:
140     kernel source code: /usr/src/linux-3.X
141     build directory: /home/name/build/kernel
143   To configure and build the kernel, use:
145     cd /usr/src/linux-3.X
146     make O=/home/name/build/kernel menuconfig
147     make O=/home/name/build/kernel
148     sudo make O=/home/name/build/kernel modules_install install
150   Please note: If the 'O=output/dir' option is used, then it must be
151   used for all invocations of make.
153CONFIGURING the kernel:
155   Do not skip this step even if you are only upgrading one minor
156   version. New configuration options are added in each release, and
157   odd problems will turn up if the configuration files are not set up
158   as expected. If you want to carry your existing configuration to a
159   new version with minimal work, use "make oldconfig", which will
160   only ask you for the answers to new questions.
162 - Alternative configuration commands are:
164     "make config" Plain text interface.
166     "make menuconfig" Text based color menus, radiolists & dialogs.
168     "make nconfig" Enhanced text based color menus.
170     "make xconfig" X windows (Qt) based configuration tool.
172     "make gconfig" X windows (Gtk) based configuration tool.
174     "make oldconfig" Default all questions based on the contents of
175                        your existing ./.config file and asking about
176                        new config symbols.
178     "make silentoldconfig"
179                        Like above, but avoids cluttering the screen
180                        with questions already answered.
181                        Additionally updates the dependencies.
183     "make defconfig" Create a ./.config file by using the default
184                        symbol values from either arch/$ARCH/defconfig
185                        or arch/$ARCH/configs/${PLATFORM}_defconfig,
186                        depending on the architecture.
188     "make ${PLATFORM}_defconfig"
189                        Create a ./.config file by using the default
190                        symbol values from
191                        arch/$ARCH/configs/${PLATFORM}_defconfig.
192                        Use "make help" to get a list of all available
193                        platforms of your architecture.
195     "make allyesconfig"
196                        Create a ./.config file by setting symbol
197                        values to 'y' as much as possible.
199     "make allmodconfig"
200                        Create a ./.config file by setting symbol
201                        values to 'm' as much as possible.
203     "make allnoconfig" Create a ./.config file by setting symbol
204                        values to 'n' as much as possible.
206     "make randconfig" Create a ./.config file by setting symbol
207                        values to random values.
209   You can find more information on using the Linux kernel config tools
210   in Documentation/kbuild/kconfig.txt.
212 - NOTES on "make config":
214    - Having unnecessary drivers will make the kernel bigger, and can
215      under some circumstances lead to problems: probing for a
216      nonexistent controller card may confuse your other controllers
218    - Compiling the kernel with "Processor type" set higher than 386
219      will result in a kernel that does NOT work on a 386. The
220      kernel will detect this on bootup, and give up.
222    - A kernel with math-emulation compiled in will still use the
223      coprocessor if one is present: the math emulation will just
224      never get used in that case. The kernel will be slightly larger,
225      but will work on different machines regardless of whether they
226      have a math coprocessor or not.
228    - The "kernel hacking" configuration details usually result in a
229      bigger or slower kernel (or both), and can even make the kernel
230      less stable by configuring some routines to actively try to
231      break bad code to find kernel problems (kmalloc()). Thus you
232      should probably answer 'n' to the questions for "development",
233      "experimental", or "debugging" features.
235COMPILING the kernel:
237 - Make sure you have at least gcc 3.2 available.
238   For more information, refer to Documentation/Changes.
240   Please note that you can still run a.out user programs with this kernel.
242 - Do a "make" to create a compressed kernel image. It is also
243   possible to do "make install" if you have lilo installed to suit the
244   kernel makefiles, but you may want to check your particular lilo setup first.
246   To do the actual install, you have to be root, but none of the normal
247   build should require that. Don't take the name of root in vain.
249 - If you configured any of the parts of the kernel as `modules', you
250   will also have to do "make modules_install".
252 - Verbose kernel compile/build output:
254   Normally, the kernel build system runs in a fairly quiet mode (but not
255   totally silent). However, sometimes you or other kernel developers need
256   to see compile, link, or other commands exactly as they are executed.
257   For this, use "verbose" build mode. This is done by inserting
258   "V=1" in the "make" command. E.g.:
260     make V=1 all
262   To have the build system also tell the reason for the rebuild of each
263   target, use "V=2". The default is "V=0".
265 - Keep a backup kernel handy in case something goes wrong. This is
266   especially true for the development releases, since each new release
267   contains new code which has not been debugged. Make sure you keep a
268   backup of the modules corresponding to that kernel, as well. If you
269   are installing a new kernel with the same version number as your
270   working kernel, make a backup of your modules directory before you
271   do a "make modules_install".
273   Alternatively, before compiling, use the kernel config option
274   "LOCALVERSION" to append a unique suffix to the regular kernel version.
275   LOCALVERSION can be set in the "General Setup" menu.
277 - In order to boot your new kernel, you'll need to copy the kernel
278   image (e.g. .../linux/arch/i386/boot/bzImage after compilation)
279   to the place where your regular bootable kernel is found.
281 - Booting a kernel directly from a floppy without the assistance of a
282   bootloader such as LILO, is no longer supported.
284   If you boot Linux from the hard drive, chances are you use LILO, which
285   uses the kernel image as specified in the file /etc/lilo.conf. The
286   kernel image file is usually /vmlinuz, /boot/vmlinuz, /bzImage or
287   /boot/bzImage. To use the new kernel, save a copy of the old image
288   and copy the new image over the old one. Then, you MUST RERUN LILO
289   to update the loading map!! If you don't, you won't be able to boot
290   the new kernel image.
292   Reinstalling LILO is usually a matter of running /sbin/lilo.
293   You may wish to edit /etc/lilo.conf to specify an entry for your
294   old kernel image (say, /vmlinux.old) in case the new one does not
295   work. See the LILO docs for more information.
297   After reinstalling LILO, you should be all set. Shutdown the system,
298   reboot, and enjoy!
300   If you ever need to change the default root device, video mode,
301   ramdisk size, etc. in the kernel image, use the 'rdev' program (or
302   alternatively the LILO boot options when appropriate). No need to
303   recompile the kernel to change these parameters.
305 - Reboot with the new kernel and enjoy.
309 - If you have problems that seem to be due to kernel bugs, please check
310   the file MAINTAINERS to see if there is a particular person associated
311   with the part of the kernel that you are having trouble with. If there
312   isn't anyone listed there, then the second best thing is to mail
313   them to me (, and possibly to any other
314   relevant mailing-list or to the newsgroup.
316 - In all bug-reports, *please* tell what kernel you are talking about,
317   how to duplicate the problem, and what your setup is (use your common
318   sense). If the problem is new, tell me so, and if the problem is
319   old, please try to tell me when you first noticed it.
321 - If the bug results in a message like
323     unable to handle kernel paging request at address C0000010
324     Oops: 0002
325     EIP: 0010:XXXXXXXX
326     eax: xxxxxxxx ebx: xxxxxxxx ecx: xxxxxxxx edx: xxxxxxxx
327     esi: xxxxxxxx edi: xxxxxxxx ebp: xxxxxxxx
328     ds: xxxx es: xxxx fs: xxxx gs: xxxx
329     Pid: xx, process nr: xx
330     xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx xx
332   or similar kernel debugging information on your screen or in your
333   system log, please duplicate it *exactly*. The dump may look
334   incomprehensible to you, but it does contain information that may
335   help debugging the problem. The text above the dump is also
336   important: it tells something about why the kernel dumped code (in
337   the above example, it's due to a bad kernel pointer). More information
338   on making sense of the dump is in Documentation/oops-tracing.txt
340 - If you compiled the kernel with CONFIG_KALLSYMS you can send the dump
341   as is, otherwise you will have to use the "ksymoops" program to make
342   sense of the dump (but compiling with CONFIG_KALLSYMS is usually preferred).
343   This utility can be downloaded from
344   ftp://ftp.<country> .
345   Alternatively, you can do the dump lookup by hand:
347 - In debugging dumps like the above, it helps enormously if you can
348   look up what the EIP value means. The hex value as such doesn't help
349   me or anybody else very much: it will depend on your particular
350   kernel setup. What you should do is take the hex value from the EIP
351   line (ignore the "0010:"), and look it up in the kernel namelist to
352   see which kernel function contains the offending address.
354   To find out the kernel function name, you'll need to find the system
355   binary associated with the kernel that exhibited the symptom. This is
356   the file 'linux/vmlinux'. To extract the namelist and match it against
357   the EIP from the kernel crash, do:
359     nm vmlinux | sort | less
361   This will give you a list of kernel addresses sorted in ascending
362   order, from which it is simple to find the function that contains the
363   offending address. Note that the address given by the kernel
364   debugging messages will not necessarily match exactly with the
365   function addresses (in fact, that is very unlikely), so you can't
366   just 'grep' the list: the list will, however, give you the starting
367   point of each kernel function, so by looking for the function that
368   has a starting address lower than the one you are searching for but
369   is followed by a function with a higher address you will find the one
370   you want. In fact, it may be a good idea to include a bit of
371   "context" in your problem report, giving a few lines around the
372   interesting one.
374   If you for some reason cannot do the above (you have a pre-compiled
375   kernel image or similar), telling me as much about your setup as
376   possible will help. Please read the REPORTING-BUGS document for details.
378 - Alternatively, you can use gdb on a running kernel. (read-only; i.e. you
379   cannot change values or set break points.) To do this, first compile the
380   kernel with -g; edit arch/i386/Makefile appropriately, then do a "make
381   clean". You'll also need to enable CONFIG_PROC_FS (via "make config").
383   After you've rebooted with the new kernel, do "gdb vmlinux /proc/kcore".
384   You can now use all the usual gdb commands. The command to look up the
385   point where your system crashed is "l *0xXXXXXXXX". (Replace the XXXes
386   with the EIP value.)
388   gdb'ing a non-running kernel currently fails because gdb (wrongly)
389   disregards the starting offset for which the kernel is compiled.

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