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(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) Error starting recompiling process?

From darod on Fri, 05 Mar 1999

I get an error when I try to recompile the kernel. Actually, I get the error before I even get into the recompiling process. Here it is:

When I try to run "make menuconfig" I get the errors ( I've included a screenshot of what errors show up) in question. I'm a newbee pretty much. I've had Linux on my machine for about 2 months. I've recompiled before but, I was using the "workstation" option in Mandrake. I am now using the latest version of Mandrake with the latest version of KDE. I chose the "custom" option for install this last time and now I'm running into these problems. I talked to several people about this and they have advised me to install these files;

kernel headers (I knew about this one)
kernel source (I knew about this one too)
gcc (I didn't know about this one, but I loaded it and it still gives me the errors)

(!) Headers just the portions of the kernel that some other programs need to know to run compile and run under it. So, if you install just the headers you can't compile a new kernel --- but you can compile various programs that need to refer to kernel function prototypes and defined values (constants).
The sources are needed to compile a new kernel, of course.
gcc is the compiler (GNU C compiler). It's the tool you use to compile anything on a typical Linux system. There are also some derivative alternative compilers like egcs available.

(?) I need help with this, I hope you can help me. I want to recompile the kernel so that I can setup my iomega zip drive.

(!) Looking at your screenshot I see errors in compiling lxdialog (the Linux kernel "dialog" utility which is what menuconfig uses to display dialog boxes, with menus etc).
These errors are from the compiler's inability to find various header files. This is almost certainly due to a problem with your installation.
On a properly configured system you should have a couple of symlinks from /usr/include to directories under /usr/src/linux. On my system these look like:
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root    26 Nov 23 16:39 /usr/include/asm 
               -> /usr/src/linux/include/asm
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root    28 Nov 23 16:39 /usr/include/linux 
               -> /usr/src/linux/include/linux
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root    27 Nov 23 16:39 /usr/include/scsi  
               -> /usr/src/linux/include/scsi
Once these sylinks are in place (and there's a symlink from /usr/src/linux to the actual location of your kernel sources) you should be able to build your new kernel and other software properly. (In your situation I'd expect that almost nothing would compile --- those symlinks are used by alot of software).

(?) Thanks in advance, Darrin Rodriguez

(?) Error starting recompiling process?

From darod on Sun, 07 Mar 1999


So your telling me that you think I probably won't be able to compile anything with the way things are now on my machine configuration, right? Well, what can I do short of installing the OS again? I don't want to loose all the tweaking I've done already if possible! What can I do with this thing?


(!) What I was trying to say is:
... and:
I realize that my long description of what these symlinks are and why you need them didn't actually spell that out in simple, bold terms like this --- but that's what I meant.

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 39 April 1999

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