This lesson takes place in week 4 Objectives important to this
Compiling a kernel
Management and troubleshooting
Chapter three begins with a discussion about the Linux kernel,
which you should have encountered several classes ago. A little
review starts with a list of the main components you would expect
in a current Linux system:
the Kernel - manages the hardware of the computer
GNU utilities - provides basic OS commands that you expect to
be available on a command line
a GUI - Gnome, KDE, Cinnamon, and many more
applications- not something you expect in an operating system,
but most seem to come with some decent products, such as
The text goes back to the kernel, reminding us of four of its
memory management - this includes virtual memory using the
familiar swap file method seen in Windows
program management - running programs (processes) can be
visible in the foreground or hidden in the background; use the ps
ax command to show sleeping/waiting/running
hardware management - managing drivers; dealing with devices
as either character (one character at at
time, like terminals), block (blocks of data
at once, like hard drives), or network (data
streams, such as are seen by NICs); communication to devices is
through a created node for each one
filesystem management -page 103 lists several filesystems that
can be found on Linux distros; you need one
In the video below, the presenter points out that the kernel is
the cluster of code that processes pretty much everything that
happens on the computer, so it makes a big difference if you can
Updating or replacing a Linux kernel will happen to you
eventually. The text starts talking about compiling a kernel on
page 108, which it admits you may never have to do. Assuming you
want to do it for the value in a new experimental kernel that is
not being distributed yet, the text provides a five step process:
Download the source code.
Create a kernel configuration file, to specify features.
Compile the source code
Compile and install module files
Install the new kernel
In the video below, the presenter runs through most of these
steps, showing us that it is not a frightening concept.
On page 120, the text turns to maintaining the kernel.
Look for supportive modules for the kernel
in /lib/modules/. There will be subfolders for
each kernel available to the system.
use the lsmod command to see a list of the
modules currently installed; note that this list shows how many
other modules use a module and what their names are
use modinfo modulename to get
information about a module
The rest of the chapter is pretty dreary.
Week 4 Assignment: Chapter 3
Lab, week 4: This
is a research lab. Select two topics from Exam Essentials
(page 133 - 134). Create and submit a 1-page paper on each
of them. (They can both be in the same submitted
document.) 25 points
This lab is due before class in week 5.
There is a discussion planned for this week. Let's pick a
topic in class.