Compile a kernel for hardware support? Easy Tutorials?

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Compile a kernel for hardware support? Easy Tutorials?

Postby Nick_Djinn on Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:26 pm

So, Im interested in compiling a kernel with tweaks for the needs of my project. I was going to make a remix of Mint Debian (Also considering Anti-X) and giving it to about 8-12 people.

One of my problems with the Debian Kernel, as opposed to the one used in Ubuntu and Mint Main edition, is that a lot of proprietary drivers are disabled by default. On my newer laptops either the wifi will work out of the box when I get it, or it will at least work by the following release usually. When I use Mint Debian, the wifi drivers are often not installed for some newer hardware.

While I consider myself an activist, and not just a 'whatever works' kind of person, I have a different perspective than Stallman. I more about Anti-Corporatism than about the 'ethics' of using proprietary drivers and codecs.....One of the main philosophical divides probably comes down to whether you actually care about following the law or not. In theory Im probably not allowed to make a remix if I have certain proprietary apps installed (like Skype), but in practice who really cares about that? Probably not even the people who own the patents if you are small. Using some proprietary codecs is not a technical limitation if you dont want it to be, and nor does it put money into the corporations pockets if you dont choose to pay them.....Its kind of a fanatical position, and one which does not even further an anti-corporate perspective if it means that your distro wont support many peoples wifi or printers or graphics cards. Supporting more proprietary codecs probably does more to fight the monopoly of other corporate giants like Microsoft and Apple than arbitrarily excluding them does.

Anyway, there is a lot of bloat in Ubuntu and even possibly some security holes that are not present in Debian. I dont necessarily agree with the Debian free software standards though and would prefer that more hardware with proprietary drivers works out of the box. Id like to customize an installation that uses Mint Debian as a base but with a tweaked kernel that supports the widest selection of hardware and wifi possible, even if it includes proprietary drivers and codecs.

(Its entirely possible that I am misunderstanding some portion of Debian standards or how all of this works and ties together, so I welcome any corrections).

So, there are three things I am interested in.

1. An easy to follow guide for compiling or tweaking a kernel for Mint Debian. One which includes even seemingly no-brainer stuff like copy-paste commands for WHERE you are compiling it to. Little things like that make following instructions easier for a noob.

2. A link to already available ready-made kernels that fit my perspective of supporting the widest amount of hardware possible, including proprietary drivers.

3. A guide or opinion on porting the Main edition kernel to the Debian distro, and where to get the kernel besides from the distro itself.
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