Just a pile of Old Computer Junk "Its life Jim, but not as we know it"

Fixing my annoying kernel bug(s) - Part 2

This blog entry details some of the problem outlined in these posts.

This is a lengthy technical post: TL;DR There is a detailed manual for building a Debian kernel at http://users.wowway.com/~zlinuxman/Kernel.htm. I was familiar with much of the content already but it was still a very helpful reference; for example, using the ‘src’ group to avoid root was a useful thing to learn.

The information on patching the Kernel for Phenom was cobbled together from various websites including the Gentoo forums.

My system is currently built from Debian squeeze with a bunch of packages from various other repositories including the Debian backports and packages I manually backported from Wheezy (testing).

I could have applied the necessary patch to this kernel but I decided at the same time to have another go at getting to the latest 3-series kernel.

For a long time I was stuck on a 2.6.39 kernel as I wasn’t able to successfully simply build a later kernel package from the Debian sources that were in testing. I could have tried to build from the kernel.org sources but I have tried where possible to maintain my system using .deb packages as far as possible. In the intervening year however it seems 3.2 has been released in backports, so that saved me a lot of potential problems.

So I upgraded my kernel and applied the patch. Here is Yet Another Tutorial on building a kernel the ‘Debian Way’. This will yield a DPKG file that you can install without clobbering any other kernels.


  • Install various pre-requisites - this will vary depending on your system. A fresh system will need many others, I needed these for LZ compression and for ‘make xconfig’
    sudo aptitude install libqt4-dev=4:4.6.3-4 lzop
  • You need to have the Debian backports in your APT sources.list file.
    deb http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports/ squeeze-backports main contrib non-free

    Having added this, do a sudo apt-get update.

  • The ideal method these days is to be able to do most of the work without dropping to root or using sudo. To achieve this add your account to the ‘src’ group and setup permissions accordingly.
    sudo adduser $LOGNAME src
    sudo chmod g+ws /usr/src
    sudo chgrp src /usr/src

    At this point you will need to log out and log in (although you could ssh back in as yourself, and I read somewhere recently that this may not be strictly necessary with the right ‘magic’ incantations any more…)

  • I like to experiment with virtualisation so along the way I downloaded a patch that may be necessary for this from http://users.wowway.com/~zlinuxman/kernel-package/linuxv3.diff (This is also an attachment to this post) Apply like: ```bash cd /usr/src wget http://users.wowway.com/~zlinuxman/kernel-package/linuxv3.diff cd /usr/share/kernel-package sudo patch -b -p1

  • I also made my own patches to do an optimized build for my AMD64 Phenom: File phenom_1.patch: ```diff — Makefile 2012-03-17 21:56:01.786123664 +1030 +++ Makefile 2012-03-17 21:56:03.826122662 +1030 @@ -205,7 +205,7 @@

HOSTCC = gcc HOSTCXX = g++ -HOSTCFLAGS = -Wall -Wmissing-prototypes -Wstrict-prototypes -O2 -fomit-frame-pointer +HOSTCFLAGS = -march=amdfam10 -Wall -Wmissing-prototypes -Wstrict-prototypes -O2 -fomit-frame-pointer HOSTCXXFLAGS = -O2

# Decide whether to build built-in, modular, or both.

File phenom_2.patch:
--- a/arch/x86/Makefile	2012-03-17 21:52:24.802227892 +1030
+++ b/arch/x86/Makefile	2012-03-17 21:53:06.590208158 +1030
@@ -50,7 +50,7 @@
         KBUILD_CFLAGS += -m64
         # FIXME - should be integrated in Makefile.cpu (Makefile_32.cpu)
-        cflags-$(CONFIG_MK8) += $(call cc-option,-march=k8)
+        cflags-$(CONFIG_MK8) += $(call cc-option,-march=amdfam10)
         cflags-$(CONFIG_MPSC) += $(call cc-option,-march=nocona)
         cflags-$(CONFIG_MCORE2) += \

File phenom_3.patch:

--- a/arch/x86/Makefile_32.cpu	2012-03-17 22:03:38.529886664 +1030
+++ b/arch/x86/Makefile_32.cpu	2012-03-17 22:04:08.701869960 +1030
@@ -24,7 +24,7 @@
 # Please note, that patches that add -march=athlon-xp and friends are pointless.
 # They make zero difference whatsosever to performance at this time.
 cflags-$(CONFIG_MK7)		+= -march=athlon
-cflags-$(CONFIG_MK8)		+= $(call cc-option,-march=k8,-march=athlon)
+cflags-$(CONFIG_MK8)		+= $(call cc-option,-march=amdfam10)
 cflags-$(CONFIG_MCRUSOE)	+= -march=i686 $(align)-functions=0 $(align)-jumps=0 $(align)-loops=0
 cflags-$(CONFIG_MEFFICEON)	+= -march=i686 $(call tune,pentium3) $(align)-functions=0 $(align)-jumps=0 $(align)-loops=0
 cflags-$(CONFIG_MWINCHIPC6)	+= $(call cc-option,-march=winchip-c6,-march=i586)
  • And of course, the patch to fix my Firewire subsystem crash as described in the previous post: ```diff — a/block/bsg.c.orig 2012-03-17 22:06:42.053784045 +1030 +++ b/block/bsg.c 2012-03-17 22:07:01.037773291 +1030 @@ -985,7 +985,8 @@
mutex_lock(&bsg;_mutex); idr_remove(&bsg;_minor_idr, bcd->minor);
  • sysfs_remove_link(&q-;>kobj, “bsg”);
  • if (q->kobj.sd)
  • sysfs_remove_link(&q-;>kobj, “bsg”); device_unregister(bcd->class_dev); bcd->class_dev = NULL; kref_put(&bcd-;>ref, bsg_kref_release_function); ```


  1. Install the Debian source package and unpack the tree:
    sudo apt-get install linux-source-3.2 linux-image-3.2
    cd /usr/src
    tar xjf linux-source-3.2.tar.bz2

Note - it turns out that this is in fact a 3.2.9 kernel. For some reason the Debian version is 3.2.4-1~bpo60+1 ; go figure…

  1. Apply patches: assumes the patch files are in /usr/src :
    cd /usr/src/kernel-source-3.2
    patch < ../amm_phenom_1.patch
    patch -p1 < ../amm_phenom_2.patch
    patch -p1 < ../amm_phenom_3.patch
    patch -p1 < ../amm_bsg.patch
  2. Configure the kernel build: I started by copying the default config from the binary backports kernel, and tweaking it for my own purposes (not shown here)
    cd /usr/src/linux-source-3.2
    cp /boot/config-3.2.0-0.bpo.1-amd64 .config
    make silentoldconfig
    make xconfig
    make-kpkg --rootcmd fakeroot modules_clean
    make-kpkg clean
  3. Finally, build the Debian packages.
    CONCURRENCY_LEVEL=4 time fakeroot make-kpkg --initrd \
       --append-to-version=-xxx-preempt-amd64 --revision 1~yyy.00.00 \
       kernel_image kernel_headers kernel_debug

    Here, CONCURRENCY_LEVEL=4 sets the number of concurrent make processes used, for taking advantage of a multi-core system. From the above settings, the actual package will become ‘linux-image-3.2.9-xxx-preempt-amd64’ with a Debian version of ‘1~yyy.00.00’ and cat /proc/version output of ‘3.2.9-xxx-preempt-amd64’ Using this mechanism means you can have concurrent ‘flavours’ of a kernel installed but still being upgradable within that flavour.

  4. Installation:
    cd /usr/src
    sudo dpkg -i linux-image-3.2.9-xxx-preempt-amd64_1~yyy.00.00_amd64.deb linux-headers3.2.9-xxx-preempt-amd64_1~yyy.00.00_amd64.deb

    This should also trigger any DKMS modules to rebuild if present. My NVidia 280.13 driver rebuilds fine with this version.


Of course the proof is in the pudding.

After rebooting, I repeated the sequence necessary to trigger the fault: and it did not recur. Woot!

Attachments: linuxv3.diff

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