Linked by Clinton De Young on Mon 3rd Mar 2003 03:07 UTC
Debian and its clones If you are reading this, I assume you already know what the Linux kernel is and why you may want to update it. However, if you are accidentally reading this walkthrough, just happen to be running Linux, and have no idea what the kernel is or why you would want to update it, the next two paragraphs are for you (if you are looking instead into a less verbose and more generic way of updating your kernel on any Linux distro, read here). In a neophyte nutshell, the Linux kernel is the brain of the Linux system. It tells your system which file systems, hardware, protocols, etc. are supported. There is a lot more to it than that, of course, but I think that diminutive description will suffice for now.
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RE Strike
by Iconoclast on Mon 3rd Mar 2003 07:24 UTC

Strike, I think your post is indicatave of the problem new users to Linux, or Debian in this case, have. People who are familiar with any given process are all too happy to teach new users how to do whatever it is in an extremely terse and impossible to understand format. Then they get mad when the new user has questions and tell him/her to go RTFM. A pseudo-polite way of saying use Windows you pathetic imbicile.

Reading your post, someone new to obtaining, configuring and compiling a kernel under Debian would know, perhaps, that they could use apt to get the latest kernel, but what do they type? They don't know, so your instructions become useless to them. If they do figure the apt part out somehow, how do they untar those sources? Where do they put them once they are untarred? What config files do they copy? What is the cramfs patch and why do they want it? What is the nice initrd option you mention and why would they want it?

I'm glad that there are people like Clinton out there who are willing to spend a good deal of their time (for free I would expect) writing instructions like this. I think it is very helpful for new users. Once somebody is able to get familiar with compiling their kernel using some good directions, then they can branch out from there and explore other options. I think this article is a great place to start.

Many years ago, I worked in technical support helping people with their computer hardware problems. One of the things the company I worked for made us do was have the customers open their computers and do things like pull out the sound card and modem in order to troubleshoot problems. Many people were very timid of doing this. I found that by talking them through it and verbally holding their hand and reassuring them the task was indeed possible every few seconds, they were comforted and were able to do what they considered a very difficult task. I think this article provides new users with that type of reassurance and guidance. Its nice to see that not all Linux users are terse and selfish with their knowledge.

Thanks Clinton for giving new users an excellent place to start.