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I'm using Ubuntu 12.10 installed alongside Windows and the default loader is GRUB.

I've downloaded kernel 3.8.5 tar.xz file and want to install without erasing the existing 3.5 kernel.

Following the instructions given in the README file it said ncurses library is required.

I extracted the file and did the following. The terminal output is shown below.

root@Ubuntu:/home/prasanna/linux-3.8.5# make O=/home/name/build/kernel menuconfig
  HOSTCC  scripts/basic/fixdep
  GEN     /home/name/build/kernel/Makefile
  HOSTCC  scripts/kconfig/conf.o
 *** Unable to find the ncurses libraries or the
 *** required header files.
 *** 'make menuconfig' requires the ncurses libraries.
 *** Install ncurses (ncurses-devel) and try again.
make[2]: *** [scripts/kconfig/dochecklxdialog] Error 1
make[1]: *** [menuconfig] Error 2
make: *** [sub-make] Error 2

After installing ncurses, I ran the command menuconfig a dialogue box appeared and coundn't proceed much. I tried with "config" selecting default optioins.

     make O=/home/name/build/kernel
     sudo make O=/home/name/build/kernel modules_install install

When I entered the first command of above got error and it read: run "make mproper". And this command said no configuration file. I'm truly not understanding what's happening.

Please help me out suggesting any other easy way to install the same tar.xz file of Linux kernel with default options without erasing the older one so that I get choices of kernel at boot up.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I'm a new Ubunutu(Linux) user. Sorry if Iam wrong. However this is how I install new kernels.

I download the deb files and cd to the directory containing them and just execute $ sudo dpkg -i *.deb

What I have noticed is that, the new installed kernel will NOT erase the older one but only create a new entry in the boot loader and make itself default if it's newer. And if it already exists it would override it without making itself default.

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Thanks! Will I be able to choose the desired kernel out of the two on boot up in that case? – user146312 Apr 3 '13 at 2:22
Yes, you can. If the boot list is not displayed at the start up all you have to do is press shift while booting. The first entry is the your default kernel. Selecting second entry "Advanced options" will list all prev. kernels with their recovery modes. selecting a kernel will initialize it load it up. – K.H.A. Apr 3 '13 at 9:40
Thanks K.H.A. I'm getting choices. One last question... As many say, 2.6 is the stablest kernel. I tried of installing it by the following two files by the same method. linux-headers-2.6.39-02063902-generic_2.6.39-02063902.201106241148_amd64 linux-image-2.6.39-02063902-generic_2.6.3902063902.201106241148_amd64 But it was giving errors saying unable to process errors and I'm left with broken packages and I could remove them by "apt-get install -f" followed by janitoring by Ubuntu-tweak. Can't I ever have 2.6(as it's lower) in Quantal or is it possible by having some linux header libraries? – user146312 Apr 3 '13 at 11:38
I think a kernel installation is composed of four *.deb files not two. In my case they are 1)linux-headers-3.8.4-030804_3.8.4-030804.201303201832_all.deb 2)linux-headers-3.8.4-030804-generic_3.8.4-030804.201303201832_amd64.deb 3)linux-image-3.8.4-030804-generic_3.8.4-030804.201303201832_amd64.deb 4)linux-image-extra-3.8.4-030804-generic_3.8.4-030804.201303201832_amd64.deb – K.H.A. Apr 3 '13 at 15:21

It says don't have the ncurses lib. You can do that running

$ sudo apt-get install ncurses-devel

Probably you'll get other warnings for other missing libraries. You need to read with attention to see what's missing and search how you can install it.

But I don't think it's recommendable to compile your own kernel in Ubuntu. And it's not recommendable at all to do that without using your package manager (dpkg in your case). If you want to keep your installation stable I suggest you to do this in a virtual machine first.

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Thanks . . I remember I previously installed 3.8.2 kernel directly from internet using some commands. No manual compilation was required. Well, I don't remember the commands. Is it okay? – user146312 Apr 3 '13 at 2:21
@user146312 Well, it's hard to say if you don't specify what kind of commands you did. Guessing you got the kernel in a .deb package, that won't require compilation. It would make it easier for you and better for your system. – Jesse Apr 3 '13 at 11:37
Yea. I could install it from the four deb files. Thanks – user146312 Apr 3 '13 at 13:25
Please mark the question as solved by selecting the answer that was satisfactory for you – Jesse Apr 3 '13 at 17:47

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