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Incomplete kernels

Posted on 2000-05-01
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
As a newbie to Linux, could someone explain why, when downloading a kernel from www.kernel.org for example, some kernels are supplied incomplete, i.e. without 'arch' 'drivers' and 'scripts', also no 'docs'?  I assumed that these files are common to all kernels, but that is obviously not the case, as these part kernels will not compile with files copied from the same 'series' even, e.g. 2.3.
How does one use these kernels?
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Question by:cliffhanger121599
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by:friebele
ID: 2771493
Some kernals are actually patches in which you upgrade your existing kernal. These can get hairy at times. I prefer to install a full kernal, so that you get the complete documentation and you don't have missing processes.

To get any complete kernal version go to http://www.kernal.org
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by:cliffhanger121599
ID: 2775216
That's where I went, but the version I downloaded(2.3.51)was incomplete(see above).   It was not labelled as a patch.
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friebele earned 10 total points
ID: 2775625
You have to be careful with version 2.3. The convention is that odd numbers are development kernals while even numbers are stable kernals. The latest stable kernal is 2.2.14 and this is a full kernal with all documentation. The development kernals are cutting edge, usually for new hardware. As these are in development there is generally a lot of bugs. Unless you know what you are doing and know C programmaing, I wouldn't recommend it. Usually once a particular piece of code is debugged and thouroughly tested, it is incorporated into the next stable kernal version. I heard a rumour that 2.2.14 is the last stable kernal in the 2.2 series. Soon version 2.4 will be released. This will include technologies such as USB support.
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by:cliffhanger121599
ID: 2777296
Cheers.   The problem was a downloading error assoc. with ftp(don't ask me what).    I now have the kernel in question, but am abandoning it as it will not compile.
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