Compile and install Linux kernel 3.9

May 1, 2013
linux command-line open-source linux-kernel

Yesterday while still at work I read the latest Linux kernel had better support for SSD drives and all. I checked on and the latest build was for version 3.8.9 which I was already using. Back at home I thought let’s build it instead of waiting.

The kernel building process is quite simple. It’s only compilation that takes time. First download the latest tarball from In this case it was linux-3.9.tar.xz.

Decompress as follows:

unxz linux-3.9.tar.xz

Then untar the package in /usr/src.

cd /usr/src
tar -xvf ../path/to/linux-3.9.tar.xz

This will extract the “linux-3.9” folder in /usr/src. Enter the folder and run these commands :

make cloneconfig
make menuconfig

The kernel configuration screen will show up. Navigate and deselect things (drivers) you do not need. In case of doubt just leave the initial option/selection. Save the configuration and exit the menu. Now we can compile the kernel.


This can take hours depending on your computer’s resources. On my laptop it took over one hour to complete. Once compilation is over we can install the kernel. These commands will do it :

make modules_install
make install

It’s done! The new kernel is compiled, installed and added to the grub menu. You can now reboot with the new kernel.

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