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I'm using Maverick with the latest available kernels on and building them myself. Until now I've been basing my configuration off the stock Maverick kernel and accepting the make oldconfig defaults. I've been doing this for 3 major releases now so I figure I'm starting to slip behind the current "standard".

I would like to re-base my kernels off the new Natty .config file. Is this available somewhere online or do I have to download the whole kernel package and extract it?

Edit: I've manually pulled in the config from the latest Natty kernel package and I can confirm that I propbably should have done this sooner. A lot of differences between my old "evolved" config and the Natty default. Now if I could just do this without 20 minutes of hunting and downloading the package so I can re-base in the future.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The kernel team has posted the configs for Natty here:


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up vote 22 down vote

Each linux-image package contains the exact configuration file that it was built with in /boot/config-*. To see the configuration file for the currently running Linux kernel, do:

  • less /boot/config-$(uname -r)

I have checked with the Ubuntu kernel people (on Freenode #ubuntu-kernel) and they have confirmed my belief that there isn't really "the config", but it is actually constructed at build/compile time by including a number of Kconfig files; these depend on the exact architecture and target (desktop/server/cloud). You should be able to read that (short) conversation at:

A list of that variety can be found using and the following search:

Hunting, around, it would appear that the .config is also included in the linux-headers-* packages. These are .deb files (which are simple .ar archives that will open with file-roller) and only about 800 kB each. If you know the particular target, architecture and version you're after, you can grab these straight from Launchpad or from the archive itself:

  2. then look in /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6*/.config

If you want to automate the whole process into one command, you could try the following; make sure you keep it all on one line!

Hope that helps!

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Thanks for investigating this. Having read the irclog, it doesn't look like I'm going to get what I want without significant download. Automation-wise, it's still easier to grab the package and extract its /boot-config-* than trying to emulate the wizardry they use to autogen them at build-time. It's a shame there isn't a way of grabbing one file from a package online (or is there?) – Oli Mar 15 '11 at 16:01
I think I'll ask that in a separate question. – Oli Mar 15 '11 at 16:02

On my Ubuntu 11.10 system the kernel config is in the file '/boot/config-3.0.0-12-generic'.

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The question is for 11.04, not 11.10. – Christopher Kyle Horton Jan 23 '12 at 4:13

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