I am trying to compile the iscsi-target software SCST. It wants me to apply a patch to my Linux kernel in order to allow for certain performance gains. The problem is I still new to Linux development. Where do I begin? How do I apply the patch? Do I need to recompile the kernel? Help!

I am running Ubuntu 10.04.3 amd64

Kernel version 2.6.32-28-server

  • Yes, you'll need to compile - a patch is a modification of source code, not the binary. How you apply the patch should be in their README (or INSTALL, if they have it).
    – new123456
    Aug 18, 2011 at 20:08

1 Answer 1


Your Linux distribution usually has its own instructions. Search their website or ask on IRC – or at least tell us the distro; without knowing it, it's impossible to provide a reliable anwer.

The generic instructions are:

  1. Download the kernel source from Kernel.org. "Stable" is probably the best choice. Extract to a convenient place (I use ~/src/linux).

    • Read the file named README.
  2. Once inside the source directory, copy the current kernel's configuration, with:
    zcat /proc/config.gz > .config

    If /proc doesn't have it, look for /boot/config-[version] instead.

  3. Apply the patch, with:
    patch -p1 < foo.patch (try -p0 if it gets rejected).

  4. Compile the kernel with:
    make silentoldconfig

  5. Install the modules with:
    sudo make modules_install

  6. Install the kernel image .../linux/arch/i386/boot/bzImage to wherever your bootloader wants it. (For example, /boot/vmlinuz-custom.)

  7. Build an initramfs for the new kernel, if your distribution uses it, and again make sure the bootloader knows its location. For example, on Arch Linux you would use:
    mkinitcpio -k /boot/vmlinuz-custom -g /boot/initramfs-custom


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