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How to Compile and Install Linux Kernel 3.1 / 3.0 in Ubuntu 11.10, 11.04, 10.10 and 10.04

How to Compile and Install Linux Kernel 3.1 / 3.0 in Ubuntu 11.10, 11.04, 10.10 and 10.04

Here in this post I will explain how to compile and install Linux Kernel 3.0 and Linux Kernel 3.1 in Ubuntu. Linux Kernel 3.0.1 is the latest stable release and you can download it from If you are new to Linux then I strongly recommend you try with Linux Kernel 3.0 and you can later patch it with Linux Kernel 3.0.1. If you don’t like to compile the kernel, then you can directly install the debian packages Click Here.

Fedora users Click Here.

Update: Follow the same steps to compile and install the Linux Kernel 3.1 in your system.


To compile Linux Kernel the following are required to be installed.

  • gcc latest version,
  • ncurses development package and
  • system packages should be up-to date

To install the dependencies run the following commands in terminal and type the password for the user, when prompted.

For gcc

$ sudo apt-get install gcc

For ncurses development package

$ sudo apt-get install libncurses5-dev

After installing the above packages then update your system by running the following command

$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Now download the Linux Kernel 3.0 from or by using the below command. If you are trying with Linux Kernel 3.1 / 3.0.7 then just replace the name linux-3.0 with linux-3.1 / linux-3.0.7 in all commands below.


Download the Kernel source from github, no download link available on  Click Here for mirror downloads. 

$ wget

Once the download complete move to the directory where you have downloaded the kernel package “linux-3.0.tar.bz2“. Now extract the tar file to the location “/usr/src/“.

To move to the directory, for example if the downloaded package is in your Downloads directory. Use the below command.

$ cd Downloads/

To extract the tar file run the following command. Type the password for the user when prompted.

$ sudo tar -xvf linux-3.0.tar.bz2 -C /usr/src/

Now move to the directory where the extracted file is, or copy and paste the below command in terminal.

$ cd /usr/src/linux-3.0/

Now you can configure, compile and install Linux Kernel 3.0 in your system. Run the commands one by one and type the password for the user, when prompted.

To Configure

$ sudo make menuconfig

The above command is used to configure the Linux kernel. Once you execute the command, you will get a pop up window with the list of menus and you can select the items for the new configuration. If your unfamiliar with the configuration just check for the file systems menu and check whether ext4 is chosen or not, if not select it and save the configuration. Check the screen shot below for menuconfig.

If you like to have your existing configuration then run the below command.

$ sudo make oldconfig

There are other alternate configuration commands are available and you can find them in README file under linux-3.0 directory.

To Compile

$ sudo make

The above command is used to compile the Linux Kernel. It will take some time to complete it, approximately 40 min to 50 min it depends on your system configuration.

To Install

$ sudo make modules_install install

The above command will install the Linux Kernel 3.0 into your system. It will create some files under /boot/ directory and it will automatically make a entry in your grub.cfg. Check whether it made correct entry and check for the files it created.

The files under /boot/ directory are,

  • vmlinuz-3.0.0
  • initrd.img-3.0.0
  • config-3.0.0

If you unable to find the initrd.img-3.0.0 file then create it. Run the below command to create it.

$ sudo update-initramfs -u -k 3.0.0


If the above command unable to update / generate the initramfs then run the following command to create new initramfs.

$ sudo update-initramfs -c -k 3.0.0

Your grub.cfg file should be like the screen shots(example) below if not edit it.

For Linux Kernel 3.0

For Linux Kernel 3.0.1

To modify the grub.cfg under “/boot/grub/” directory. Open the file using below command.

$ sudo gedit /boot/grub/grub.cfg

After modifying your grub.cfg, update your grub by running the following command.

$ sudo update-grub

Restart your system by default it will boot in Ubuntu 3.0.0, you can able to see while booting. To check after booting open a terminal and type “uname -r“. Check the screen shot below.

Hope this will be helpful for you!!!

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