missed some h/w... question about re-compiling

Ken Moffat ken at kenmoffat.uklinux.net
Thu Jan 16 15:19:00 PST 2003

On Thu, 16 Jan 2003, Andrew Davis wrote:

> Am I correct that it is suggested that if I simply want to recompile to 
> add some more hardware support that I should backup my .config, run 
> 'make mrproper', then restore my .config and proceed with a 'make 
> menuconfig'? Is the 'make mrproper' necessary? If so, why?
 To answer the first question, I think I've seen reports of errors when
people copied back the .config after running `make mrproper' and didn't
then run `make oldconfig', so I always run this after `make mrproper
(and it is good practice - you need to do this when you have patched
the kernel (e.g. from 2.4.20 to 2.4.21 when it's out).

 Now to answer your main question, make `mrproper' may or may not be
necessary, but it does no harm. It's named after a German domestic
cleaner, and just cleans a bit deeper than `make clean'. Whether it's
necessary depends on exactly what is in your tree at the time - I can
remember ac patches that wouldn't compile if you didn't run make

> Also, when I add more support I intend to add a few more items as 
> modules and also remove some old modules. Do I need to 'rm -rf 
> /lib/modules/2.4.20' before doing a 'make modules_install'?

 The easier way is to go for a second version of the kernel - in the top
level Makefile set an identifier in the extraversion, e.g.


 This will mean your new build puts its modules in /lib/modules/2.4.20-2
(you might want to rename the tree itself to linux-2.4.20-2, if you use
any sort of automated install for the kernel - if you rename it, do so
before running depmod).

 If you like to live dangerously, the new modules will overwrite any old
modules of the same name. Any old modules will remain until you delete
them. I'd be very scared of deleting the modules that might be needed by
the running kernel, at least until I was about to reboot.

 Out of the darkness a voice spake unto me, saying "smile, things could be
worse". So I smiled, and lo, things became worse.

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