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Genkernel is a tool for building a general-purpose modular Linux kernel for Gentoo Linux. Genkernel compiles the kernel with all available device drivers built as modules, then copies potentially boot-critical ones to an initramfs that is passed to the kernel at boot time, automatically loading the modules before they are needed. It is designed to allow users with little or no experience configuring a Linux kernel to easily set up a working kernel. Also, non-trivial hard disk setups like LVM and/or dm-crypt for full disk encryption make usage of an initramfs unavoidable; here genkernel can save the user from manually creating one.

The main reason for genkernel is the fact that you have to configure and build your own kernel during the installation of Gentoo, this can be a problem for new Linux users. Experienced Linux users generally prefer to configure and build their kernel manually, because genkernel tries to configure the kernel as safely as possible which causes the kernel to grow very large. However, one can choose to use a custom kernel configuration and use genkernel to compile it, and still benefit from other features such as the initramfs builder.

Genkernel modes[edit]

  • "all" - Build kernel, all modules, and create the initramfs.
  • "bzImage" - Just build the kernel.
  • "kernel" - Build the kernel and the modules.
  • "initramfs" - Just build the initramfs.

Supported platforms[edit]

Genkernel is capable of building kernels for the following platforms:

  • alpha
  • amd64
  • parisc
  • parisc64
  • ppc
  • ppc64
  • sparc
  • sparc64
  • x86

External links[edit]