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Building Embedded Linux Systems by Karim Yaghmour

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Configuring the Kernel

Configuration is the initial step in the build of a kernel for your target. There are many ways to configure the kernel, and there are many options from which to choose .

Regardless of the configuration method you use or the actual configuration options you choose, the kernel will generate a .config file at the end of the configuration and will generate a number of symbolic links and file headers that will be used by the rest of the build.

We will limit our discussion to the aspects of kernel configuration that differ in embedded systems. You can consult the various references I mentioned earlier if you are not familiar with kernel configuration.

Configuration Options

It is during configuration that you will be able to select the options you want to see included in the kernel. Depending on your target, the option menus available will change, as will their content. Some options, however, will be available no matter which embedded architecture you choose. The following is the list of main menu options available to all embedded Linux architectures:

  • Code maturity level options

  • Loadable module support

  • General setup

  • Memory technology devices

  • Block devices

  • Networking options

  • ATA/IDE/MFM/RLL support

  • SCSI support

  • Network device support

  • Input core support

  • Character devices

  • Filesystems

  • Console drivers

  • Sound

  • Kernel hacking

I will not give the details of each option, since the kernel configuration menu provides help capabilities you can refer to as you perform the configuration. Notice, ...

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