Custom Kernel Version

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Hello, for some time I've been using a custom kernel version for my system and from what I've seen, for some reason, I'm the only one doing this. I'm refering to only changing the kernel version (not using some special kernel sources or something).

Someone might ask 'Why?'. The answer is very simple - because I was bored and wanted something different.


Here's what I'm talking about:

Normal Kernel Version

Changed Kernel Version


How to do this?

It's very simple. In short, you need to custom compile a kernel.
  1. Download a kernel sources tarball of your choice.
  2. Extract the contents.
  3. Modify the file Makefile and change the first three/four lines to whatever you want. In my case:
  4. Compile your kernel and reboot.
  5. Enjoy.

You can change your version to whatever you want:
  • 0.0.1
  • 1.0.0-beta
  • 2.4.12
  • 3.8.500
  • 4.0.0-rc1
  • 9.9.9
  • etc...


Keep in mind

... that there are problems you might face if doing this. Specially if you're compiling or using software that must exhibit different behaviour depending on the kernel version. For example: 
  • ati-drivers
  • icedtea
  • virtualbox-modules
  • etc...

An example case is this: you're using a kernel source tarball of 3.8.13 and you've changed your version to be 4.5.6 and then you try to compile ati-drivers or virtualbox-modules:
  1. The sources have various checks so if you're using a kernel version bigger than 3.9 and/or 3.10 they add/change code.
  2. As the package thinks you're using >3.9/3.10 kernel but you're really using 3.8.x - it will fail to compile.
In these cases, if you haven't reverted back to the original kernel version (yet), you must be knowledgeable enough to be able to write your own patches like these: my ati-drivers patch or my virtualbox-modules patch.

There are packages like icedtea where they have an environment variable you can use to skip such kernel checks (like if your kernel is too old to use package X). In the case of icedtea, it's: DISABLE_HOTSPOT_OS_VERSION_CHECK=ok


That's it, any questions or suggestions are welcome.