Hi all. I'm wanting to begin taking a look at the kernel and work my way into development, but I need some help.

I've looked over the guide at: [kernelnewbies.org]

as well as similar guides around, and I need some clarification on a few things, and some help.

* I don't have a separate machine to spare for development, so I figured that a separate partition would be better than nothing, but every guide I come across seems to refer to upgrading, or recompiling the main OS kernel. I'd rather just leave my primary distro alone for now.

Is there anything special that I need to do in order to build on a clean ext3 partition? (Right now, I have Ubuntu as a dual boot on my 2nd drive.)

* Do I have this correct, that if I'm going to hack the mainline/stable kernel that I would need to find a distro based on that if I want a complete OS to work with? Any recommendations?

* I've read so much info that I'm having trouble keeping track of it.... I believe I read that I should work with the stable release, but what if some of the bugs that I look at have already been fixed in a patched release?

Thanks for any help.