Announcing an X-based kernel configuration utility.

Eric Youngdale (
Mon, 9 Oct 95 23:35 EDT

I have just uploaded a program called xkconfig-0.1.tar.gz to
sunsite in the pub/Linux/Incoming directory that allows you to
configure a Linux kernel using a GUI-based tool.

I got started on this when Bernhard Kaindl came up with a
modified Configure script that would take the files and use
this to create text-mode menus that could be used for kernel
configuration. While nice, I have always wanted an X-based
program to handle this stuff.

I came up with a program which takes a file, and
parses it to generate a wish script (the wish program comes with
Tcl/Tk that lets you quickly develop GUIs). I have enclosed the README
file that comes with the thing, and describes in a bit more detail
what it is capable of. Eventually I want to migrate this into the
kernel source tree, but for now I just want comments and suggestions.


**** X-based Kernel Configuration ****

This distribution contains the patches to the kernel to make it
possible to configure the kernel using an X-based program. Features include:

* Parses files - no need for separate database. Parser
generates wish script (Tcl/Tk).
* Patches to files same as used by Bernhard Kaindl in
his text-screen menu based configuration.
* Each configuration has help button - displays the text from
Documentation/, if this file is availble.
* Menu widgets are automatically enabled/disabled as required by
the settings of other widgets (i.e. follows the ifdef/else/fi
directives in
* Topics with large numbers of options (i.e. networking devices)
automatically have the widgets split over several subwindows to
ensure that windows remain small enough to display.

I have done most of my testing on my laptop, so there should
not be problems with windows overfilling the available screen size on
any machine.

The major shortcoming is that the sound configuration does not work
with this script - the configuration is radically different from the
configuration of the rest of the kernel. My hope is that someone
who is more intimate with the details of sound configuration will volunteer
to write a wish script to handle sound.

The patches will only cleanly apply with kernels from 1.3.22
and up. This is because some of the files being patched things
shifted around in 1.3.22. There is no reason why this program should
not work with earlier versions, but you will have to patch a bunch of
things to accomplish this.

I have split the patches into two files. One contains the
changes that I have made, and the second one contains the patches
which I borrowed from Bernhard. I know that Bernhard has released
something newer since the patches which I am enclosing here (mips
and alpha configuration from what I gather). If you already have
Bernhard's stuff, then you don't need to bother re-applying the
patches, and you just need to apply my patches.

Once you have the patches applied, you just need to type

"make xconfig"

You will notice that a few source files are being compiled - this is
the parser and the wish script generator. Once this is
done, the script will be invoked and the main window should pop up.

If you need the file, you can grab the
file from in pub/Linux/kernel/config/krnl_cnfg_hlp_1.3.28.*
Axel Boldt <> is responsible for this file.

Please send suggestions, comments, etc to me. Flames
will be ignored :-).

-Eric (