Revision as of 07:57, 6 June 2009 by Dirk (Talk | contribs) (Correct and add some stuff)

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This page is about compiling Linux Kernel for BeagleBoard manually.

  • Attention #1: If you just want a distribution for your BeagleBoard, i.e. something that just works, stop reading here. Have a look to development environments.
  • Attention #2: If you are already using OpenEmbedded (OE) and you are fine with the kernel generated by this, stop reading here.

This page is intended for people wanting to compile a recent Linux kernel for BeagleBoard manually. Maybe because they are real kernel hackers and don't want OE "overhead". Or they have issues with OE. Or ... . Again, if you are not such a person, stop reading here.

Still interested?

Most recent Linux kernel is available by OMAP Linux git repository, which then is heavily patched by OE. Most of these patches are grabbed from OMAP Linux mailing list, but still not applied to recent git. So OE creates a kernel by taking git kernel and then applies a lot of patches. For OE tools, this is described by OE "receipes". Looking at these recipes for BeagleBoard, grabbing the patches OE applies and then doing the stuff manually (usually done by OE automatically) gives you the same kernel OE generates.

So this page describes how to get all the pieces OE uses for kernel compilation and then patch and compile kernel manually. As this page is only for experts, some details might be missing.



We need (OMAP) kernel sources and basic OpenEmbedded system (containing the patches and recipe). Both we get by git.


Get basic OpenEmbedded system with steps described in OpenEmbedded and Bitbake install article (ignore the "export OE_HOME" part, we only want the OE source system). As of writing in June 2009 this downloads ~100MB.

After download finished, we are only interested in the recipe and patches for BeagleBoard kernel. This can be found in recipes/linux:

cd recipes/linux

There, identify the most recent (kernel) recipe. While writing this article, for BeagleBoard this was


Note: If you are unsure which might be the correct one, grep all files in recipes/linux for


This should give you one .bb file.

This .bb file is the OE recipe used by OE to patch and build the kernel. Looking into it should give us something like:


COMPATIBLE_MACHINE = "...|beagleboard|..."

DEFAULT_PREFERENCE_beagleboard = "1"


SRCREV = "58cf2f1425abfd3a449f9fe985e48be2d2555022"

SRC_URI = "git://;protocol=git \

SRC_URI_append = " \
          file://no-empty-flash-warnings.patch;patch=1 \
          file://no-cortex-deadlock.patch;patch=1 \
          file://read_die_ids.patch;patch=1 \

This recipes gives us 4 infos:

  • This recipe is the recent one for BeagleBoard :) (DEFAULT_PREFERENCE_*)
  • The git hash for OMAP kernel we have to check out (SRCREV)
  • Where we get the kernel from (SRC_URI) and which kernel config file to use
  • The patches which have to be applied (in which order) (SRC_URI_append)

Now, looking into the directory with the same name as the .bb recipe file (linux-omap-2.6.29/) we find

  • the kernel patches listed in the .bb recipe file
  • in beagleboard sub directory the kernel configuration (linux-omap-2.6.29/beagleboard/defconfig)