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Warning: those guides are mostly obsolete, please have a look at the new documentation.


Linux kernel configuration
It is not always best to use the latest kernel: you might want to keep the exact same version the Linux distribution provided and be able to compile the exact same packages. For example, the 'lirc' Slackbuild for Slackware 13.37 needs smp_lock.h, which is in but not in the latest 2.6 kernel versions.
That said, either use your Linux distribution’s ‘.config’ file and add what is missing or build a custom kernel. In the former case, simply proceed like e.g. (Slackware64 13.1),
cd /usr/src/linux-
make distclean
cp /boot/config-huge- .config
cat >> .config <<EOF9
make silentoldconfig
# Note. -j twice the number of cores
(( jobs = `grep ^processor /proc/cpuinfo | wc -l` * 2 ))
echo jobs: $jobs
time nice make -j$jobs
unset jobs
version=`grep version .config | awk '{print $NF}'`
echo version: $version
ls -lkd /lib/modules/$version/
rm -rf /lib/modules/$version/
unset version
make modules_install
cp -f arch/x86_64/boot/bzImage /boot/vmlinuz

(obsolete, see the new doc)