A workshop on GNU/Linux Kernel Development was organized by the IEEE Bangalore section in association with IBM ISL- LTC (Linux Techonlogy Center). The venue was Atria Hotel. Me, Madhu, Vattam, Sattvik registered for the event. Many others wanted to attend the event. but the registrations were over. (We were told that they received around 400 registrations for the event, but they had to stop at 100 odd because of many constraints).
We all left to Atria Hotel at around 8, reached the place by 8:45. Got registered at the venue as well and paid the entry fee. Madhu couldn't make it that day because of some reason. Samartha joined us after sometime. We met some FSUG members volunteering there. We were told that one of the members of IBM LTC was a BMSCE Alumni. We were introduced to him, He was Mr.Srivatsa, we spoke to him, he enquired about the batch and branch we were studying in. Time didn't permit any more conversation at that moment. The workshop started soon after the inauguration.
I must say that everything was very well planned. They had given us a CD which consisted of all the programs we'll be using. and they had setup a network from where we could download the PPT. This made sure that everyone can follow what is being said, even if they miss something, they can go back to the PPT at any point of time.
The first session was on using Development tools on GNU/Linux. This was handled by Ankita Garg and Balbir Singh. We were familiar with most of it and were very happy to learn the rest of the tools. It included gcc, gdb etc.. Later on we went on to copy the source code of linux kernel from the CD to the hard disk. We were asked to build the kernel from the source. They gave us a step by step procedure to do the same. Many had built the kernel because they had very fast machines, some were still doing it In the mean time, We had lunch along with speaking to Srivatsa, he asked us about the curriculum etc, and we were happy to know that they are willing to conduct some workshops in colleges.
Soon after lunch, Aneesh took session on File System, he spoke about Ext4. I couldn't understand most of it . This was followed by a tutorial on building kernel modules by Srivatsa himself. We enjoyed this session particularly. By adding certain kernel modules we can crash the system very easily , these modules need not perform any critical operation to do so, even a while loop with some addition to stack can crash the system . This serves as a basic for any device driver programming.
The final session was on system tap. System tap is a debugging tool, just like dtrace and strace. We can write some system tap code which act as inspecting tools in our programs. This code resembles AWK very much.
At the end of the day, we could say we have compiled the linux kernel!!! , it definitely is a great feeling
Its pretty simple to build the kernel. Follow these three simple steps..
1. Download the latest kernel from www.kernel.org
2. Extract the compressed Kernel.
3. Navigate to the Kernel directory in the terminal.
4. $ make
5. $ make install
The workshop was very helpful for most of us.