Compiling Kernel Hell

Compiling Kernel Hell

Post by Zach Copl » Tue, 06 Feb 1996 04:00:00



Why is that every single time I try to compile a kernel the compiler
explodes?

Sometimes gcc (the one that comes with slackware 3.0) quits with a message
about virtual memory being exhausted, even though I have 32 megs of memory
and 32 megs of swap.  If I restart compiling by typing "make" again, it
usually continues from where it left off.  That is perhaps somehow
understandable (?) However, the compiler blows up all the time on other
things... missing files, symbol problems, gcc just quiting-- weird
problems that I can't reproduce.

To fully compile a kernel, I have to restart make over and over again!
Sometimes I have to do a make mrproper, make depend, make clean.
Sometimes I have to reboot in between... or I'll login and out several
times.  Gar!!!

This happens with several different kernel sources (1.2.13 patched for ELF
at the moment), and different Slackwares.  Does anyone know what the heck
is going on???

I've never mentioned this before.  Because I thought, maybe this is just
MY weird computer, even though I have very run of the mill stuff (486/66,
Buslogic SCSI, SB16, Mach64 video card).  But recently I was over at a
friend's house watching him install Linux on his machine.  He was using
Slackware 2.2, and he had totally different hardware, yet he had the exact
same problem!

So is this normal?  Does EVERYONE installing Linux have this problem?  Is
this just the way it is with Linux?  I don't like these kinds of problems.
The reason I run Linux is becuase I want UNIX, but moreover I NEED
preemptive multitasking, protected memory, and stability.  I want to be
able to start X-Windows (something I don't dare do while compiling a
kernel right now), and compile a new kernel in the background.  Is that so
wrong?

If anyone knows why these bad things are happening, would you please
PLEASE tell me?  It scares me!  I have become really dependent upon Linux,
and I will do anything to fix this problem.

Thanks,

Zach Copley
--
                                       .^....^.


                    RoR-Alucard         `{""}'

 
 
 

Compiling Kernel Hell

Post by Damien Bur » Tue, 06 Feb 1996 04:00:00


|> Why is that every single time I try to compile a kernel the compiler
|> explodes?
|>
|> Sometimes gcc (the one that comes with slackware 3.0) quits with a message
|> about virtual memory being exhausted, even though I have 32 megs of memory
|> and 32 megs of swap.  If I restart compiling by typing "make" again, it
|> usually continues from where it left off.  That is perhaps somehow
|> understandable (?) However, the compiler blows up all the time on other
|> things... missing files, symbol problems, gcc just quiting-- weird
|> problems that I can't reproduce.
|>
|> [snip]
|>
|> So is this normal?  Does EVERYONE installing Linux have this problem?  Is
|> this just the way it is with Linux?  I don't like these kinds of problems.

Not normal! Compiles fine on my 486SX25 with 8Mb of RAM and 8 swap; takes
about 29 minutes, no problems whatsoever.

|> If anyone knows why these bad things are happening, would you please
|> PLEASE tell me?  It scares me!  I have become really dependent upon Linux,
|> and I will do anything to fix this problem.

I have heard of gcc being very flaky if your RAM wait states aren't set right;
try modifying your BIOS and adding some more wait states and see how that
goes.

--
[ Damien Burke    Email: See the header!   WWW: http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~dmb ]
[ Sinclair Speccy, Emulate! Magazine & The Hangar- European Military Aircraft ]

 
 
 

Compiling Kernel Hell

Post by jj.. » Wed, 07 Feb 1996 04:00:00



> Why is that every single time I try to compile a kernel the compiler
> explodes?

> Sometimes gcc (the one that comes with slackware 3.0) quits with a message
> about virtual memory being exhausted, even though I have 32 megs of memory
> and 32 megs of swap.  If I restart compiling by typing "make" again, it
> usually continues from where it left off.  That is perhaps somehow
> understandable (?) However, the compiler blows up all the time on other
> things... missing files, symbol problems, gcc just quiting-- weird
> problems that I can't reproduce.

> To fully compile a kernel, I have to restart make over and over again!
> Sometimes I have to do a make mrproper, make depend, make clean.
> Sometimes I have to reboot in between... or I'll login and out several
> times.  Gar!!!

> This happens with several different kernel sources (1.2.13 patched for ELF
> at the moment), and different Slackwares.  Does anyone know what the heck
> is going on???

> I've never mentioned this before.  Because I thought, maybe this is just
> MY weird computer, even though I have very run of the mill stuff (486/66,
> Buslogic SCSI, SB16, Mach64 video card).  But recently I was over at a
> friend's house watching him install Linux on his machine.  He was using
> Slackware 2.2, and he had totally different hardware, yet he had the exact
> same problem!

> So is this normal?  Does EVERYONE installing Linux have this problem?  Is
> this just the way it is with Linux?  I don't like these kinds of problems.
> The reason I run Linux is becuase I want UNIX, but moreover I NEED
> preemptive multitasking, protected memory, and stability.  I want to be
> able to start X-Windows (something I don't dare do while compiling a
> kernel right now), and compile a new kernel in the background.  Is that so
> wrong?

> If anyone knows why these bad things are happening, would you please
> PLEASE tell me?  It scares me!  I have become really dependent upon Linux,
> and I will do anything to fix this problem.

> Thanks,

> Zach Copley
> --
>                                        .^....^.


>                     RoR-Alucard         `{""}'

FYI, I have compiled Slackware3.0 (1.2.13 ELF) on my P-120 (Gateway2000)
with Mach64, SB16, ATAPI CDROM etc.. with 16M Ram and no swap..in about 10-15
Minutes..

-Johnson

 
 
 

Compiling Kernel Hell

Post by Juha Lai » Wed, 07 Feb 1996 04:00:00



Quote:>Why is that every single time I try to compile a kernel the compiler
>explodes?

It just seems that your hardware is not stable.

My machine (i486dx2/66, 16M RAM, 20M swap, Adaptec 1542b ISA SCSI adapter,
CirrusLogic 5429 VLB display adapter, other misc stuff) has never had
problems compiling kernels (not even when I only had 8M memory, 16M swap
and mixed IDE/SCSI disk system.

Quote:>Sometimes gcc (the one that comes with slackware 3.0) quits with a message
>about virtual memory being exhausted, even though I have 32 megs of memory
>and 32 megs of swap.  If I restart compiling by typing "make" again, it
>usually continues from where it left off.  That is perhaps somehow
>understandable (?) However, the compiler blows up all the time on other
>things... missing files, symbol problems, gcc just quiting-- weird
>problems that I can't reproduce.

Usually these are linked to marginal/bad RAM or cache memory. It seems that
Linux puts much more stress on RAM/cache than most other operating systems.
--
Wolf  a.k.a.  Juha Laiho     Espoo, Finland
(GEEK CODE 3.0) GIT d- s+: a- C++ UH++++$ UL++++ P- L+++ E--- W+ N+++ !K w !O
            !M V PS(+) PE Y+ !PGP t- 5? X? R tv- b+ DI? D+ G e+ h!>--- r++ y+
"...cancel my subscription to the resurrection!" (Jim Morrison)
 
 
 

Compiling Kernel Hell

Post by Peter Johnso » Thu, 08 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Depending on what you're doing with X while you recompile the kernel,
yes, this could be both wrong and evil. If you have 32 megs of RAM,
your swap space should be at least twice that ... I believe Linux is a
traditional UNIX in the sense that ALL running code goes to the swap
space, whether it fits in RAM or not.
X is capable of chewing up 32 megs all by itself depending on the
server, client, number of colors, etc.; I don't know what compiling the
kernel may use, but it's probably a lot.  I have a 64-MB swap partition
(using kernel 1.2.8, slackware 3.0, oddly enough) and don't experience
this problem of compiler dumps with 8MB of RAM.

peter johnson

 
 
 

Compiling Kernel Hell

Post by Juha Lai » Thu, 08 Feb 1996 04:00:00



Quote:>Depending on what you're doing with X while you recompile the kernel,
>yes, this could be both wrong and evil. If you have 32 megs of RAM,
>your swap space should be at least twice that ... I believe Linux is a
>traditional UNIX in the sense that ALL running code goes to the swap
>space, whether it fits in RAM or not.

Actually not - Linux can even run completely without swap. The swap
space (or paging space, actually) is used in Linux only when the real
memory is tight.
--
Wolf  a.k.a.  Juha Laiho     Espoo, Finland
(GEEK CODE 3.0) GIT d- s+: a- C++ UH++++$ UL++++ P- L+++ E--- W+ N+++ !K w !O
            !M V PS(+) PE Y+ !PGP t- 5? X? R tv- b+ DI? D+ G e+ h!>--- r++ y+
"...cancel my subscription to the resurrection!" (Jim Morrison)
 
 
 

Compiling Kernel Hell

Post by Axel Bold » Thu, 08 Feb 1996 04:00:00



Zach> Why is that every single time I try to compile a kernel the compiler
Zach> explodes?

Probably hardware problems that only show under heavy load. It can
also happen if the swap space is not correctly set up and compiling
the kernel is the only time swap would be needed.

Zach> So is this normal?  Does EVERYONE installing Linux have this
Zach> problem?

No, but it's not uncommon either. Check out

http://einstein.et.tudelft.nl/~wolff/sig11/

for details.

Axel

 
 
 

Compiling Kernel Hell

Post by Zach Copl » Thu, 15 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Hey, Thank you all for your suggestions and input about my problem
compiling the kernel.  You were all EXACTLY right--it turned out to be a
hardware problem.  

After ripping the machine apart down to the ground, swapping cards and
changing configurations 700 times, I finally started playing around with
the simms on the motherboard.  It turned out to be a bad 4 meg simm in the
upper 16 megs of memory.  I took that whole bank out for now, and restored
linux from tape, and everything is beauty!  I can even compile the kernel
in the background now while running X and Netscape, and the system is
responsive with only 16 megs of ram!

It feels so good to have a stable machine.

Thanks again,

Zach

--
                                       .^....^.


                    RoR-Alucard         `{""}'

 
 
 

1. Compiling Kernel Hell

Why is that every single time I try to compile a kernel the compiler
explodes?

Sometimes gcc (the one that comes with slackware 3.0) quits with a message
about virtual memory being exhausted, even though I have 32 megs of memory
and 32 megs of swap.  If I restart compiling by typing "make" again, it
usually continues from where it left off.  That is perhaps somehow
understandable (?) However, the compiler blows up all the time on other
things... missing files, symbol problems, gcc just quiting-- weird
problems that I can't reproduce.

To fully compile a kernel, I have to restart make over and over again!
Sometimes I have to do a make mrproper, make depend, make clean.
Sometimes I have to reboot in between... or I'll login and out several
times.  Gar!!!

This happens with several different kernel sources (1.2.13 patched for ELF
at the moment), and different Slackwares.  Does anyone know what the heck
is going on???

I've never mentioned this before.  Because I thought, maybe this is just
MY weird computer, even though I have very run of the mill stuff (486/66,
Buslogic SCSI, SB16, Mach64 video card).  But recently I was over at a
friend's house watching him install Linux on his machine.  He was using
Slackware 2.2, and he had totally different hardware, yet he had the exact
same problem!

So is this normal?  Does EVERYONE installing Linux have this problem?  Is
this just the way it is with Linux?  I don't like these kinds of problems.
The reason I run Linux is becuase I want UNIX, but moreover I NEED
preemptive multitasking, protected memory, and stability.  I want to be
able to start X-Windows (something I don't dare do while compiling a  
kernel right now), and compile a new kernel in the background.  Is that so
wrong?

If anyone knows why these bad things are happening, would you please
PLEASE tell me?  It scares me!  I have become really dependent upon Linux,
and I will do anything to fix this problem.

Thanks,

Zach Copley

--
                                       .^....^.


                    RoR-Alucard         `{""}'

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