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Linux kernel release 5.x <http://kernel.org/>

These are the release notes for Linux version 5. Read them carefully, as they tell you what this is all about, explain how to install the kernel, and what to do if something goes wrong.

What is Linux?

Linux is a clone of the operating system Unix, written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net. It aims towards POSIX and Single UNIX Specification compliance.

It has all the features you would expect in a modern fully-fledged Unix, including true multitasking, virtual memory, shared libraries, demand loading, shared copy-on-write executables, proper memory management, and multistack networking including IPv4 and IPv6.

It is distributed under the GNU General Public License v2 - see the accompanying COPYING file for more details.

On what hardware does it run?

Although originally developed first for 32-bit x86-based PCs (386 or higher), today Linux also runs on (at least) the Compaq Alpha AXP, Sun SPARC and UltraSPARC, Motorola 68000, PowerPC, PowerPC64, ARM, Hitachi SuperH, Cell, IBM S/390, MIPS, HP PA-RISC, Intel IA-64, DEC VAX, AMD x86-64 Xtensa, and ARC architectures.

Linux is easily portable to most general-purpose 32- or 64-bit architectures as long as they have a paged memory management unit (PMMU) and a port of the GNU C compiler (gcc) (part of The GNU Compiler Collection, GCC). Linux has also been ported to a number of architectures without a PMMU, although functionality is then obviously somewhat limited. Linux has also been ported to itself. You can now run the kernel as a userspace application - this is called UserMode Linux (UML).

Documentation

Installing the kernel source

Software requirements

Compiling and running the 5.x kernels requires up-to-date versions of various software packages. Consult Documentation/process/changes.rst <changes> for the minimum version numbers required and how to get updates for these packages. Beware that using excessively old versions of these packages can cause indirect errors that are very difficult to track down, so don't assume that you can just update packages when obvious problems arise during build or operation.

Build directory for the kernel

When compiling the kernel, all output files will per default be stored together with the kernel source code. Using the option make O=output/dir allows you to specify an alternate place for the output files (including .config). Example:

kernel source code: /usr/src/linux-5.x
build directory:    /home/name/build/kernel

To configure and build the kernel, use:

cd /usr/src/linux-5.x
make O=/home/name/build/kernel menuconfig
make O=/home/name/build/kernel
sudo make O=/home/name/build/kernel modules_install install

Please note: If the O=output/dir option is used, then it must be used for all invocations of make.

Configuring the kernel

Do not skip this step even if you are only upgrading one minor version. New configuration options are added in each release, and odd problems will turn up if the configuration files are not set up as expected. If you want to carry your existing configuration to a new version with minimal work, use make oldconfig, which will only ask you for the answers to new questions.

Compiling the kernel

If something goes wrong