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  1. #1

    What is kernel source?

    When I installed my Nvidia graphic card, I was asked to install kernel source first before the installation. What the heck is this kernel source indeed and how can I install it properly?

    I linked to the page , and downloaded the "The latest stable version of the Linux kernel", but it seems no way to setup correctly... Using linux and setup linux is a painful task..

    Anybody gives me some hint on this?

  2. #2
    Just Joined! Forsinain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Many distributions have packages for the kernel source, so check out your distribution's package repository if you think it is easier using RPMs.

    If you want to use the official kernel source packages follow these instructions:
    Download the latest linux kernel (
    and make sure that you download the whole kernel and not just the partch.

    Make sure there is an /usr/src directory:
    # ls /usr/src
    If it can't find the /usr/src directory you can create it with:
    # mkdir /usr/src
    Now, extract the kernel files into /usr/src and make a symlink from /usr/src/linux to the kernel source directory (you'll need root-permission to run these commands):
    # tar -xvzf /path/to/linux- -C /usr/src
    # ln -s /usr/src/linux /usr/src/linux-

  3. #3
    thx..Forsinain I have tried these.. and it seems okey...but I still get the error tells me that I need to install kernel source when I install the vidia graphic card driver..why?

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    You need to have kernel source specific to the running kernel. Remember a lot of distros will have their own patches. You will usually see a package called either 'kernel-source' or 'kernel-headers' which is what you need. What distro are you using?

  6. #5
    Jez...havent a clue what're ye talking abt? Do you mean the distribution package has its own patches? Well, I was trying to install the NVIDIA FX5600 Graphic Card driver which can be found in the following website:

    When I followed the procedures provided by the nvidia, sth weired occurred telling me that I need to install the Kernel Source before completion..

    Daz all I know abt so far..sorry about my ignorance but just want to sort things out in a simple manner.

  7. #6

    Re: What is kernel source?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiafanZhou
    Daz all I know abt so far..sorry about my ignorance but just want to sort things out in a simple manner.
    In your post from yesterday I see you have Fedora core 5 installed. In fedora, you can use yum to install packages, and you want to install the package called kernel-source so in a terminal window you type
    su -
    yum install kernel-source
    and then yum will download and install the kernel sources for you in a location where the nvidia driver installer expects them to be. By the way, when a new version of a kernel is installed the kernel source will also be installed on your machine.

  8. #7
    Cool stuff, will try...
    I really need to delve myself very deeper into a Linux Book before I started asking stupid questions....

  9. #8
    Since I can not access the Internet using my Linux Fedora Core 5, I got the following errors.

    [root@localhost jiafanz]# yum install kernel-source
    Loading "installonlyn" plugin
    Setting up Install Process
    Setting up repositories
    core                                                                 [1/3]
    Cannot find a valid baseurl for repo: core
    Error: Cannot find a valid baseurl for repo: core
    What shall I do?

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