From Gentoo Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
This page is a translated version of the page Genkernel and the translation is 49% complete.

Other languages:
Deutsch • ‎English • ‎español • ‎français • ‎italiano • ‎português do Brasil • ‎русский • ‎中文(中国大陆)‎ • ‎日本語 • ‎한국어

Warning: Display title "genkernel/ja" overrides earlier display title "Genkernel".

genkernelは、 kernelinitramfsを自動的にビルドすることができるGentoo製のツールです。 その主な特徴は:

  • カーネルソースの設定。
  • 圧縮されたカーネルbzImageをビルドし、/bootにコピーします。
  • initramfsを作成して/bootにコピーします。
  • /bootにシンボリックリンクを作成する。
  • 暗号化に関連するファイル、ブートスプラッシュイメージ、追加モジュールなど、カスタムコンテンツをinitramfsに追加する。
  • initramfsを圧縮する。
  • 新しく作成されたカーネルとinitramfsをブートするようにブートローダーを設定する。


USE フラグ

USE flags for sys-kernel/genkernel Gentoo automatic kernel building scripts

firmware Prefer system firmware sys-kernel/linux-firmware over local copy.
ibm Add support for IBM ppc64 specific systems



root #emerge --ask sys-kernel/genkernel


genkernel を実行する際の一般的な文法は以下のとおり:

root #genkernel [オプション ...] アクション


genkernel の実際の挙動は、多数のオプションの組合せによって変わります。そのオプションの多くは、/etc/genkernel.conf 内で有効/無効に設定することもでき、genkernel コマンドに引き渡すこともできます。コマンドに引き渡したオプションのほうが、/etc/genkernel.conf 内で定義されたものより優先して処理されます。/etc/genkernel.conf ファイルにはとても多くの説明が載っていますが、そのうちのとりわけ一般的に利用されるオプションについて、ここではみていきましょう。読者が一般的な genkernel の利用法に馴染めることがゴールです。より詳細な解説は、 /etc/genkernel.conf や、 man genkernel コマンドの出力を参照してください。

オプションのいくつかは、二択式で指定します。--[no-]option_name のような形式で、角括弧で記載した二択の効果は、例えば以下のとおりです。:
CODE オプションを有効または無効にする
--[no-]menuconfig : 有効化 [無効化] ...
無効にする設定しかないオプション、つまり no- で始まるもので、かつ、二択の選択が不可能な場合は、角括弧なしで記載しています。


カーネルコンフィグレーションに関する下記のオプションは、コンフィグレーションの過程においてどのような対話型操作を提供するかを指定します。その過程の最中でも、ユーザはコンフィグファイルを保存するか否かを選択することができます。以下が主なコンフィグレーションオプションです :

Points to the Genkernel configuration file to use (defaults to /etc/genkernel.conf).
Activates (or deactivates) the make menuconfig command (which invokes an interactive configuration menu) before building the kernel.
Provides a kernel configuration utility which depends on the GTK+ libraries. The advantage of this option is that most users find it easier and clearer to configure the kernel using this tool, since it relies on the X-windowing system. The disadvantage of this option is that the X-windowing system is required to use it, so it will not work on the command line.
Provides a kernel configuration utility which depends on the QT libraries. The advantage of this option is that most users find it easier and clearer to configure the kernel using this tool, since it relies on the X-windowing system. The disadvantage of this option is that the X-windowing system is needed to use it, so it will not work on the command line.
Saves [or does not save] the kernel configuration to a file in the /etc/kernels directory for later use.
Allows the modification of the name of the kernel and initrd images in the /boot directory, so that the images produced are kernel-NickName-version and initramfs-NickName-version.


以下のコンフィグレーションオプションは、生成されるカーネルや initrd の仕様を左右します。

Activates (or deactivates) support for Fbsplash framebuffer splash in the genkernel-built initrd image. To override the default theme used by fbsplash, use --splash=PreferredTheme (where PreferredTheme is the title of one of the directories inside the /etc/splash directory).
This option allows to select which splash screen resolutions will be supported in the initrd during the start-up of the system. This is useful for two reasons. First, to be able to select only the splash screen resolution(s) relevant to the system. Second, to avoid the unnecessary increase in the disk space required by initrd (since the initrd does not have to support resolutions that are irrelevant for the system's configuration.) However, the option is best omitted if the kernel is being compiled for an Installation CD; this allows splash support for all possible resolutions.
Force keymap selection during the boot sequence.
Enables keymap selection at boot (e.g. for LUKS container password input). The desired keymap can be passed in boot options as the value of keymap (name of the keymap file without .map). Available keymap files can be found in /usr/share/genkernel/defaults/keymaps/.
If the keymap you need is not available in genkernel you can convert one of the existing sys-apps/kbd keymaps (available in /usr/share/genkernel/defaults/keymaps/) using loadkeys --bkeymap. See loadkeys man page for details.
Includes support for storage using via Logical Volume Management (LVM2) from static binaries, if available to the system. Relevant (static) LVM2 binaries are compiled if they are unavailable. Be sure to install the sys-fs/lvm2 package on the system (emerge sys-fs/lvm2) before enabling this option, then review the LVM article on the Gentoo wiki.
Includes support for DMRAID; the utility which creates RAID mappings using the kernel device-mapper subsystem. DMRAID discovers, activates, deactivates and displays properties of software RAID sets (ATARAID, for example) and contained DOS partitions.
Includes support for Linux Unified Key Setup or LUKS. This will allow to use a device encrypted by LUKS which contains the root filesystem. On the bootloader, set that encrypted device as the value of crypt_root (and root shall be the unencrypted device LUKS creates).
Adds support for disk label and UUID support to the initrd.
Adds support for iSCSI to the initrd.
Adds support for Multipath to the initrd.
Specifies a user-created linuxrc — a script that is initialized during the start-up stage of the kernel, prior to the actual boot process. A default linuxrc script can be found in the /usr/share/genkernel/ directory. This script allows booting into a small, modularized kernel; it tries to load the minimum amount of drivers that are needed (as modules) by the system.
Overrides the default cache location used while compiling the kernel.
Specifies the location of the temporary directory used by genkernel while compiling the kernel.
Includes support for the Unification File System in the initrd image.
Detects whether or not the /boot directory needs to be mounted on a separate partition. It will check /etc/fstab script for instructions on how to mount the boot partition on a file system (if needed).
Creates an early cpio filled with microcode for Intel/AMD processors for Xen and Linux early microcode support



Specifies the compiler employed during the kernel compilation process.
Specifies the linker employed during the kernel compilation process.
Specifies the assembler employed during the kernel compilation process.
Specifies an alternative to the GNU make utility employed during the kernel compilation process.
Specifies the compiler employed during the compilation of support utilities.
Specifies the linker employed during the compilation of support utilities.
Specifies the assembler employed during the compilation of support utilities.
Specifies an alternative to the GNU make utility employed during the compilation of support utilities.
Specifies the number of concurrent threads that the make utility can implement while the kernel (and utilities) are being compiled. The variable X is a number to be freely chosen, although the most common values are obtained by adding one (1) to the number of cores used by the system, or just use the number of cores on the system. So, for a system with one core, most common option values are -j2 or -j1; a system with two cores most likely uses the -j3 or -j2 options, and so on. (A system with one processor that supports Hyper-Threading™ (HT) Technology can be assumed to have 2 cores, provided Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) support is enabled in the kernel.)



Specifies an alternative kernel source location, rather than the default /usr/src/linux/ location.
Specifies what alternative kernel configuration will be used, rather than the default /path/to/sources/.config file.
Specifies a prefix to the directory where kernel modules will be installed (default path is the /lib/modules directory.)
Activates (or deactivates) the make clean command before compiling the kernel. The make clean command removes all object files and dependencies from the kernel's source tree.
Activates (or deactivates) the make mrproper command before kernel compilation. Like the make clean command listed above, make mrproper removes all object files and dependencies from the kernel's source tree. However, any previous configuration files (in /path/to/sources/.config or /path/to/sources/.config.old) will also be purged from the kernel's source tree. If it is undesirable that the kernel's .config file keeps disappearing, be sure to disable this option!
Issues the make oldconfig command, which attempts to collect configuration information for the system's architecture from a generic script in /usr/share/genkernel. This is a non-interactive process; no user input is entertained. Also, if --oldconfig is used in conjunction with --clean, the latter option is negated, resulting in the activation of the --no-clean option.
--callback="echo hello"
Calls the specified arguments (echo hello, in this case) after the kernel and the relevant modules have been built, but before building the initrd image. This may be useful when installing external modules in the initrd image by emerging the relevant item(s) with the callback feature, and then redefining a genkernel module group.
Activates (or deactivates) the make install command, which installs the new kernel image, configuration file, initrd image and system map onto the boot partition. Any compiled modules will be installed as well. By default genkernel will attempt mount /boot if it is on a separate partition before running the install command.
Refrains from copying any modules to the genkernel-created initrd image. This option is an exception to the rule about the no- prefix; omission of this prefix creates an invalid genkernel option.
Copies all available modules to the genkernel-created initrd image.
Creates the initrd image, prior to the kernel image (this hack currently applies only to PPC Pegasos systems).



Controls the level of verbosity for information provided by genkernel. The variable <verblevel> is an integer between 0 and 5. The level '0' represents minimal output, while '5' provides as much information as possible about genkernel's activities during the kernel compilation process.
Ignores the value set by the --loglevel option (above) and sends all debugging data produced by genkernel to the specified output file. Outputs to /var/log/genkernel.log by default.
Activates (or deactivates) colored output of debugging information (reported by genkernel) using escape sequences.
Activates (or deactivates) the full post-run cleanup for debug purposes.


The action passed on the command line with the genkernel [options …] action tells genkernel what action to perform. The following actions are supported:

Action Description
all Builds all stages — the initrd, kernel image and modules.
bzImage Only builds the kernel image.
kernel Only builds the kernel image and modules.
initramfs Only builds the initramfs/ramdisk image.
ramdisk Only builds the initramfs/ramdisk image.


Starting off

genkernelを実行する方法はいくつかありますが、ほとんどのユーザーにお薦めしたい最も簡単な方法は、genkernel allでしょう。はいこれで、ほとんどのシステムでうまくいくような設定がされました。しかし先に述べたように、このアプローチには欠点がないわけではありません。作成されたモジュールのほとんどは平均的なユーザーには無駄であり、その上コンパイル時間も長くなるかもしれません。そこでもっと効果的なアプローチをお教えしましょう。rootユーザーでgenkernelに、幾つかのオプションを渡します:

root #genkernel --splash --no-install --no-clean --menuconfig all

The above operation causes genkernel to create a framebuffer splash-enabled kernel (--splash) that will have to be manually installed (--no-install). While preparing the kernel source tree, genkernel will refrain from cleaning out any preexisting object files present in the source tree (--no-clean). A menu-driven kernel configuration utility will be displayed that allows the user to select which modules will be built for the system (--menuconfig).

Replacing --no-install with the --install option allows genkernel to automatically install the new kernel in the /boot directory, and will create symlinks if --symlink is specified. Using the --mountboot option allows genkernel to mount the /boot partition automatically, if necessary.

Don't forget that the /etc/genkernel.conf file is sourced by the genkernel command at startup, and that any option defined there will be applied, except where a command line option takes precedence over it.


The first thing that should be done is to allow the triggering of make menuconfig in the /etc/genkernel.conf file:

FILE /etc/genkernel.confForcing the use of the configuration menu in /etc/genkernel.conf
# Run 'make menuconfig' before compiling this kernel?




After an emerge -u gentoo-sources, whenever new sources are available, a new kernel source directory is created under /usr/src/ to host them. Normally, the active kernel sources directory is pointed to by the /usr/src/linux symlink.

The /usr/src directory might look like this:

user $ls -l /usr/src
total 16
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   19 21 Mar   2013 linux -> linux-3.7.10-gentoo
drwxr-xr-x 24 root root 4096 25 Aug  10:39 linux-3.10.7-gentoo
drwxr-xr-x 20 root root 4096 21 Apr  19:42 linux-3.7.10-gentoo
drwxr-xr-x 21 root root 4096 14 Mar   2013 linux-3.7.9-gentoo

The /usr/src/linux symlink can be changed in different ways.

  • If the symlink USE is set the /usr/src/linux symlink is automatically updated to point to the newly emerged sources.
  • If the symlink USE is not set, the user can change the destination of the symlink using the eselect kernel list followed by the eselect kernel set command.

genkernel will always (exclusively) use the sources pointed by the /usr/src/linux symlink.


If a kernel compilation has already been run with the active kernel sources, there might be a file inside the /etc/kernels directory that contains the kernel configuration that has been applied while creating the last bzimage of the kernel. This file is named, for example kernel-config-x86_64-3.7.9-gentoo-r1 where x86_64 might be substituted with the system's architecture, 3.7.9 might be substituted with the version of the sources used, and r1 with the release of the sources.

It is this kernel-config-x86_64-3.7.9-gentoo-r1 file that is used as a starting configuration when running  genkernel --menuconfig all.

If it is the first time that genkernel is run with the new kernel sources, or if the previous result has not been saved, this file is substituted with a default configuration file that resides at usr/share/genkernel/arch/x86_64/kernel-config where x86_64 is substituted with the actual architecture.

The path to this default configuration file, may be altered by setting the DEFAULT_KERNEL_CONFIG variable in /etc/genkernel.conf file.

コマンドラインから、または/etc/genkernel.confの中から--save-config genkernelオプションが有効になっている場合、コンパイルされたカーネル設定は/etc/kernelsディレクトリに保存されます。 同時に、設定は/usr/src/linuxディレクトリの.configファイルに保存されますが、このファイルは次のgenkernel allで再利用されません。

One has to be aware, that each time genkernel is run, with the --save-config genkernel option set, the configuration file in /etc/kernels is overridden. Thus, it is highly recommended to copy this file under a new name before running genkernel in order to preserve it.
カーネルとinitramfsを /boot ディレクトリへインストール

Specifying the --install option when invoking genkernel, will ask genkernel to install the kernel image and the initramfs into the /boot directory. In order to run --install a convenient manner, set the following in the /etc/genkernel.conf file:

FILE /etc/genkernel.confSetting up kernel and initramfs auto-saving
# Mount BOOTDIR automatically if it is not mounted?
# Save the new configuration in /etc/kernels upon
# successful compilation
# Make symlinks in BOOTDIR automatically?
# Add new kernel to grub2?
  • 最初のパラメータは、自身のために語っています。
  • 2番目のパラメータは、コンパイルされたカーネル構成を/etc/kernelsに保存するようにgenkernelに指示します
  • The last two options tell genkernel to automatically update the grub configuration. In practice, the following happens:
    • If a previous kernel image with the same name already exist, it is renamed by appending .old to its name. A symlink kernel.old is automatically created that points to it.
    • The new kernel takes the place of any kernel with the same name into /boot. If it is the first time a kernel is compiled, a symlink kernel is automatically created that points to the new kernel.

After running genkernel --menuconfig all, the /boot directory might look like this:

user $ls -al /boot
total 41336
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root    4096 20 avril 17:23 .
drwxr-xr-x 24 root root    4096 15 sept. 12:31 ..
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root       1 24 févr.  2013 boot -> .
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root    4096 24 févr.  2013 grub
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root      40 20 avril 17:23 initramfs -> initramfs-genkernel-x86_64-3.7.10-gentoo
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 1314412 20 avril 17:23 initramfs-genkernel-x86_64-3.7.10-gentoo
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 1313548 21 mars   2013 initramfs-genkernel-x86_64-3.7.10-gentoo.old
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 1295344 25 févr.  2013 initramfs-genkernel-x86_64-3.7.9-gentoo
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 3310324 25 févr.  2013 initramfs-genkernel-x86_64-3.7.9-gentoo.old
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root      44 20 avril 17:23 initramfs.old -> initramfs-genkernel-x86_64-3.7.10-gentoo.old
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root      37 20 avril 17:23 kernel -> kernel-genkernel-x86_64-3.7.10-gentoo
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 4866656 20 avril 17:23 kernel-genkernel-x86_64-3.7.10-gentoo
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 4866560 21 mars   2013 kernel-genkernel-x86_64-3.7.10-gentoo.old
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 4552288 25 févr.  2013 kernel-genkernel-x86_64-3.7.9-gentoo
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 3400736 25 févr.  2013 kernel-genkernel-x86_64-3.7.9-gentoo.old
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root      41 20 avril 17:23 kernel.old -> kernel-genkernel-x86_64-3.7.10-gentoo.old




  • Add root=/dev/sdaN to the kernel parameters passed to the kernel image, where /dev/sdaN points to the root partition (N is the number of the partition if a partition exists).
  • If splash is used, add a suitable mode line such as vga=0x317 to the parameters passed to the kernel and also add splash=verbose or splash=silent depending on the verboseness required through the boot process.
  • Add the initrd information as required by the bootloader. Consult the Bootloader Configuration Chapter of the Gentoo Handbook for details on how to make the bootloader initrd-aware.

Here is how the grub.conf file might look.

FILE /boot/grub/grub.confAn example of grub.conf file
# This is a sample grub.conf for use with Genkernel, per the Gentoo handbook 
# If you are not using Genkernel and you need help creating this file, you 
# should consult the handbook. Alternatively, consult the grub.conf.sample that 
# is included with the Grub documentation. 
default 0 
timeout 5
title Gentoo Linux 
root (hd0,6) 
kernel /boot/kernel initrd=/dev/ram0 root=/dev/sda7 rootfstype=ext4  
initrd /boot/initramfs
title Gentoo Linux old kernel 
root (hd0,6) 
kernel /boot/kernel.old initrd=/dev/ram0 root=/dev/sda7 rootfstype=ext4 
initrd /boot/initramfs.old



  • 保存する最初のファイルは、/etc/kernels/のカーネル構成ファイルです。カーネルの再コンパイル前にソースが変更されていない場合、このファイルの以前に使用された名前が使用されます。 したがって、以前の構成ファイルを別の名前でコピーすると、新しい構成の開始点としてファイルを使用可能にしたまま、情報を保持するのに役立ちます。
  • The second important thing is to preserve the already bootable kernel and initramfs images. The way to accomplish this depends on the context:
  1. If the last kernel compiled is bootable, running genkernel will rename this kernel (and similarly initramfs) image to kernel-genkernel-ARCH-X.Y.Z-gentoo-rx.old and create a new kernel-genkernel-ARCH-X.Y.Z-gentoo-rx. This mean that even if the new kernel is not bootable, users will always be able to boot the old one.
  2. If the last kernel compiled is not bootable and sources haven't changed since the user compiled a bootable one, prior to running genkernel, first delete the new kernel image and remove the .old suffix from the last bootable one. Without this, if the newly compiled kernel is not bootable for the second time, the bootable kernel-genkernel-ARCH-X.Y.Z-gentoo-rx.old will be kicked out by the renaming of the non bootable kernel-genkernel-ARCH-X.Y.Z-gentoo-rx, giving the user an unbootable system. Use the same reasoning for initramfs.


The previous configuration can be used through the MENUCONFIG variable in /etc/genkernel.conf as follows:

FILE /etc/genkernel.confSetting up make menuconfig
# Run 'make menuconfig' before compiling this kernel?
There is no need to run make oldconfig when using genkernel, even if the sources are changed from kernel-genkernel-ARCH-version-gentoo-rx to kernel-genkernel-ARCH-version-gentoo-r(x+1) or from kernel-genkernel-ARCH-version-gentoo to kernel-genkernel-ARCH-(version+1)-gentoo. This is because make menuconfig will try to load the previous configuration into the menu as much as possible. Nevertheless, reviewing each option and new sections carefully is recommended.

Checking that initramfs includes necessary utilites before booting

Before booting the system, it might be wise checking that initramfs includes necessary utilities. For example, a missing cryptsetup will produce a kernel panic when booting with LUKS. This post uses the following procedure to check that initramfs includes cryptsetup:

root # mkdir /tmp/initramfs
root # cd /tmp/initramfs
root # xzcat kernel-genkernel-x86_64-4.14.65-gentoo | cpio -idmv
root # ls -l sbin/cryptsetup
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 67568 28 d’oct 18:55 sbin/cryptsetup



The genkernel utility can build kernel and initrd images that provide support for network booting, or netbooting. With any luck, users should be able to netboot any recent computer into the environment provided by the Installation CD.

The magic lies in genkernel's linuxrc script: it will try to netmount the Installation CD using NFS. From there, the init scripts of the Installation CD can take over, as if the CD was present locally.



Support for netbooting with genkernel is experimental and may contain bugs.


KERNEL Configuring a 3.x.x series kernel to support various NIC drivers
Device Drivers --->
   Networking Support --->
      Ethernet (10 or 100Mbit)  --->
         [*] Ethernet (10 or 100Mbit)
         <*>   The driver(s) for each network card
Be sure to select <*> and not <M>.

Secondly, it is suggested that IP: kernel level autoconfiguration is enabled as well as IP: DHCP support options. This avoids an unnecessary layer of complexity since the IP address and the NFS path to the Installation CD can be configured on a DHCP server. Of course, this means the kernel command line will remain constant for any machine — which is very important for etherbooting.

KERNEL Configuring a 3.x.x series kernel to support DHCP
Device Drivers --->
   Networking Support --->
      Networking options
         [*] TCP/IP networking--->
         [*]   IP: kernel level autoconfiguration
         [*]     IP: DHCP support


Additionally, enable SquashFS because most modern Gentoo Installation CDs require it. Support for SquashFS is not included with the generic kernel source tree. To enable SquashFS, apply the necessary patches to the generic kernel source or install gentoo-sources.

KERNEL Configuring the kernel to support SquashFS
File systems--->
   Miscellaneous filesystems --->
      [*] SquashFS 2.X - Squashed file system support



root #cd /
root #tar -cf /tmp/modules-X.Y.Z.tar.gz /lib/modules/X.Y.Z/



root #emerge --ask net-misc/mknbi
root #cd /boot
root #mkelf-linux -params="root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc ip=dhcp" kernel... initrd... > etherboot.img

OpenBoot/SPARC64 TFTPイメージを作成するには:

root #emerge --ask sys-apps/sparc-utils
root #cd /boot
root #elftoaout kernel... -o kernel.aout
root #piggyback64 kernel.aout initrd-...
root #mv kernel.aout openboot.img

The openboot.img file is the boot image.


NFS setup

To setup a NFS share that contains the Installation CD, use the loop device to mount the ISO image and then copy the contents of the CD into the NFS share. As a nice extra, genkernel's initrd scripts will extract all tar.gz files located in the /nfs/livecd/add/ directory. All that needs to be done here is copy the modules-X.Y.Z.tar.gz archive to the /nfs/livecd/add/ directory.

The following assumes that /nfs/livecd is an exported NFS share:

root #mount /tmp/gentoo-livecd.iso /mnt/cdrom -o loop
root #cp -p /mnt/cdrom /nfs/livecd
root #umount /mnt/cdrom

Now copy the modules.tar.gz file into /add:

root #mkdir /nfs/livecd/add
root #cp /tmp/modules-X.Y.Z.tar.gz /nfs/livecd/add

DHCP setup

The netboot images will ask the DHCP server on the network for an IP as well as a root-path option. Both can be specified per host using a MAC address to identify machines:

FILE /etc/dhcpd.confSample client dhcpd.conf setup
# Here, is the NFS server while will be the IP address of the netbooted machine
host netbootableMachine {
         hardware ethernet 11:22:33:44:55:66;
         option root-path "";

Netbooting instructions

Netbooting itself is again very platform-specific. The important part is to specify the ip=dhcp and init=/linuxrc parameters on the kernel command line, as this will bring up the network interface and tell the initrd scripts to mount the Installation CD via NFS. Here are some platform-specific tips.

For etherboot, insert the etherboot disk into the drive and reboot. The kernel command line was specified when the image was constructed.

With Sparc64, press Stop+A at the boot prompt and then enter:

okboot net ip=dhcp init=/linuxrc

PXE のためには、pxelinux (syslinuxの一部)をセットアップし、 pxelinux.cfg/default を作成して以下の行を続けます:

FILE pxelinux.cfg/defaultDefault entry
DEFAULT gentoo
LABEL gentoo
    KERNEL kernel-X.Y.Z
    APPEND initrd=initrd-X.Y.Z root=/dev/ram0 init=/linuxrc ip=dhcp

Booting a genkernel initramfs


If an initramfs is installed with genkernel, then take a look at the various boot options that can (or should) be defined in the bootloader configuration. The most common ones are added to this guide.

Loading LVM or software-RAID

If the system uses LVM or software-RAID, the initramfs has to be built using the --lvm and --mdadm options. Do not forget to enable support during boot as well. This can be done using the dolvm and domdadm options.

FILE /boot/grub/grub.confEnabling LVM and/or MDADM support
# Example for GRUB 1.x
title Gentoo Linux
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz root=/dev/md3 dolvm domdadm
initrd /initramfs-genkernel-x86_64-3.4.3


FILE /boot/grub/grub.confBooting in single-user mode
# Example for GRUB 1.x
title Gentoo Linux
root (hd0,0)
kernel /vmlinuz root=/dev/md3 init_opts=S
initrd /initramfs-genkernel-x86_64-3.4.3


compile failed: Kernel not found

This failure can be experienced when attempting to compile a kernel for one architecture with a kernel .config file that has a target of a different architecture than the target. This could be as simple as a machine running an amd64 kernel attempting to compile for a x86 target.

This can be experienced when booting from a x86_64 LiveCD on a system that is capable of operating in 64-bits, however the target to be installed or repaired is 32-bits. After the compilation process begins, genkernel will attempt to automatically detect the architecture for the target based on the currently running kernel. If the currently running kernel is 64-bit, then, unless it is told otherwise, genkernel will presume it should be looking for a 64-bit kernel.

Suppose then that the kernel's .config file has x64 disabled. The make command will execute and the resulting kernel binary will be placed in the associated x86 directory. When genkernel goes to install (move and rename) the kernel it cannot find the kernel because it expected a 64-bit kernel.

The solution to this failure is to set genkernel's --arch-override option to, in this case, the x86 architecture. The final command could look like this:

root #genkernel --kernel-config=/usr/src/linux/.config --btrfs --install --arch-override=x86 all

To override the architecture choice permanently, modify the ARCH_OVERRIDE variable in the /etc/genkernel.conf file.

external modules (such as xtables_addons) must be rebuilt manually with a new kernel

Genkernel can rebuild external modules after the kernel is built; edit genkernel.conf to include this line:

FILE /etc/genkernel.confRun a command after building a new kernel
# Run the specified command in the current environment after the kernel and
# modules have been compiled, useful to rebuild external kernel module
# (use "emerge --quiet @module-rebuild" for >=portage-2.2) or installing additional
# files (use 'copy_image_with_preserve dtb path/to/dtb dtb ${KNAME}-${ARCH}-${KV}')
CMD_CALLBACK="emerge --quiet @module-rebuild"


  • Manual kernel configuration - For the times it is necessary to to do things manually.
  • Dracut - Another initramfs builder available in Gentoo.
    This page is based on a document formerly found on our main website
    The following people contributed to the original document: Tim Yamin, Jimi Ayodele, Thomas Seiler, , Sebastian Pipping (sping), José Fournier (jaaf)
    They are listed here because wiki history does not allow for any external attribution. If you edit the wiki article, please do not add yourself here; your contributions are recorded on each article's associated history page.