[CentOS-docs] Suggestions on "I Need the Kernel Source" Wiki pages

Antti J. Huhtala ahuhtal4 at welho.com
Sun Jul 13 01:27:38 UTC 2008

Hi all,

I am a newcomer to CentOS but slightly less so to Linux in general
(FC4-F9). In short, I am trying to make an old SB Vibra 16C (ISA) sound
card work in Centos 5. To achieve this, support for ISA bus and ISA PnP
is apparently needed in kernel. Therefore, a custom kernel needs to be
built. -- Yes, I have read all the warnings of lack of support, etc.

As a first step, I had to build the complete kernel tree according to "I
Need the Kernel Source" CentOS Wiki. I tried to meticulously follow the
directions given there but it took five or six attempts before I had a
complete tree in ~/rpmbuild/BUILD/. Would you please consider the
following questions in order to decide if any changes/additions are
necessary in the article:

a) In section 2.1 it is said: "[user at host]# yum install rpm-build". To
'yum install' something you need to be superuser (as confirmed by '#'
prompt before the command). Shouldn't the example read: 
"[root at host]# yum install rpm-build"?

b) The next command on the page is "rpm -i http://mirror.centos.org...".
Two of my futile attempts to install the ...src.rpm were due to the fact
that 1) I did not understand and then 2) forgot to exit from root before
trying to install the source rpm. Shouldn't there be at least a "$"
prompt (and perhaps the directory, too) before the 'rpm -i' command?

c) One attempt of 'rpmbuild' failed because "redhat-rpm-config is needed
by kernel-2.6.18-92.1.6.el5.i686". This may not apply to everyone but it
certainly applied to me who had only installed 5.1 in March and updated
it to 5.2 in July by just updating when told to do so. Perhaps it would
be advisable to add "# yum install redhat-rpm-config" to the article?

d) Two attempts of 'rpmbuild' perhaps failed because I inadvertently
used single quotes or apostrophes around 'uname -m' instead of "`"s
(accent grave?). The result in prep-err.log, however, was: "Building
target platforms: uname -m" and "Building for target uname -m". 
I had to explicitly insert "i686" in the 'rpmbuild' command like this:
[user at host SPECS]$ rpmbuild -bp --target=i686 kernel-2.6.spec 2> ...".
If this is what the user is supposed to do anyway, perhaps it could be
worded a little differently to make it perfectly clear? On the other
hand, if 'accent grave' characters around 'uname -m' really work in
replacing the proper architecture in the command, perhaps the text
should emphasize the fact? I foolishly did not "cut-and-paste" the
'rpmbuild' command but wrote it myself.

I realize there is another thread about these Wiki pages currently being
discussed on centos-docs list but I thought it better to start a new

TIA, Antti

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