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Making Simple Modifications to the Linux Source

This post is Part 2 of a series on the Linux kernel.

Part 1 – Part 3

The Linux kernel is one of the most complex open-source projects available to the public, and the source code that comprises it is highly intricate, to say the least. Knowing this, I wondered what it would take to pick apart such a technological beast and actually begin to understand it. The key to understanding, like anything else, is to learn by doing. The entire source repository is available to view in a browser, and more than 95% of it is written in C. How hard could it be to write a little C code?

As it turns out, it’s harder than expected. Keep reading to get the full rundown on how I edited the kernel source, built it, broke it (several times), and finally made a simple change that produced an output in the system logs.