linux-source-$(uname -r)

Rocco Stanzione grasshopper at
Sun Oct 8 19:10:27 BST 2006

One of the (very few) things I still miss coming from another distro is the 
ability to install the patched, configured, ready-to-go source of my running 
kernel, using the package manager.  There's a wiki page dedicated to building 
a custom kernel, and it offers two choices for getting the source: install 
the linux-source-2.6.17 package, which will always be out of date, or use 
git, which also will not give me the source of the running kernel.

I've heard reasons for not doing this, such as "we don't want people 
installing custom kernels, it might break things", that I was hoping were not 
official policy.

Reasons I can think of for providing the package include:
- the linux-headers-$(uname -r) package is insufficient for building some 
- I want a slimmer kernel without support for hardware I will never use
- I want to use a different scheduler
- I want to change <fill in the blank>
- I want to make any or all of these changes while taking advantage of 
Ubuntu's patches
- Real men build kernels, and I want to learn about that while minimizing the 
odds of breaking my system, by using Ubuntu-patched source
- I want to test my own kernel patches without dealing with the encumbrances 
of the source package (waiting for it to build lots of packages, or figuring 
out how to get it not to, worrying about packaging nuances, etc.)
- I want to use a modern version of iptables along with some patch-o-matic 
- I found a fix for my problem on the intarweb that requires a trivial 
modification to the kernel source, and I'd love make that change and only 
that change without waiting for the bug 
report-confirm-research-fix-test-upload process.

One quick rebuttal to the "anyone who has any business building a kernel 
should be able to do this" argument that I've also heard - I've been building 
kernels for a lot of years, and I haven't done it once since moving to 
Ubuntu, not because I'm suddenly confused, but because it's simply too much 
(unnecessary) work.  So, if there are reasons for not providing the package 
other than that we haven't yet found it worthwhile, I'm very interested in 
hearing them.  If there are any +1's for this out there, I'm interested in 
those too.



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