I try to build the Linux kernel with Buildroot using Docker. I've created a simple Docker image:

FROM debian:7

RUN apt-get update && \
    apt-get install -y \
    build-essential \
    bash \
    bc \
    binutils \
    build-essential \
    bzip2 \
    cpio \
    g++ \
    gcc \
    git \
    gzip \
    make \
    libncurses5-dev \
    patch \
    perl \
    python \
    rsync \
    sed \
    tar \
    unzip \


RUN git clone git://git.buildroot.net/buildroot 

WORKDIR /root/buildroot

CMD ["/bin/bash"]

I want to keep dl/ andoutput/build/ when container stops, so I don't have to download and compile all dependencies every time. I also want the build products on my host. Therefore I start container like this:

$ docker run -ti -v $(pwd)/dl:/root/buildroot/dl -v \ $(pwd)/output/build:/root/buildroot/output/build -v \ $(pwd)/output/images:/root/buildroot/output/images orangetux/buildroot

I'm able to run make menuconfig which builds the configuration for Buildroot. I've made a few modifications to the defaults. Here's the output of make savedefconfig:


The next step is to build linux-menuconfig. This action failed and I've no clue what is going wrong:

 $ make linux-menuconfig
/usr/bin/make -j1  HOSTCC="/usr/bin/gcc" HOSTCXX="/usr/bin/g++" silentoldconfig
make[1]: Entering directory `/root/buildroot'
BR2_DEFCONFIG='' KCONFIG_AUTOCONFIG=/root/buildroot/output/build/buildroot-config/auto.conf KCONFIG_AUTOHEADER=/root/buildroot/output/build/buildroot-config/autoconf.h KCONFIG_TRISTATE=/root/buildroot/output/build/buildroot-config/tristate.config BR2_CONFIG=/root/buildroot/.config BR2_EXTERNAL=support/dummy-external SKIP_LEGACY= /root/buildroot/output/build/buildroot-config/conf --silentoldconfig Config.in

*** Error during update of the configuration.

make[1]: *** [silentoldconfig] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/root/buildroot'
make: *** [/root/buildroot/output/build/buildroot-config/auto.conf] Error 2

The file /root/buildroot/output/build/buildroot-config/auto.conf doesn't exists.

Why does the file not exists and how can I build linux-menuconfig?

  • I just tested with the latest Buildroot, and it works fine for me, with the exact same defconfig. – Thomas Petazzoni Apr 18 '15 at 13:30
  • @ThomasPetazzoni How did you start you container? I've update my answer with the way I start my container. – OrangeTux Apr 18 '15 at 14:26

After extensive debugging I found out that mounting a folder on my host system at /root/buildroot/output/ causes the problem. Remove this mount and make linux-menuconfig is possible.

Further debugging revealed that mounting a host folder at /root/buildroot/output/build in the container is the problem. I've no clue why.

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  • 2
    Because the folder you're mounting does not belong to root. Do it like so:WORKDIR /usr/src/debian-custom git clone git clone git://git.buildroot.net/buildroot ` ln -s /usr/srx/linux /usr/src/debian-custom, then run make menuconfig` from /usr/src/linux. See Building a Custom Kernel for Debian – eyoung100 Apr 24 '15 at 22:48
  • Unfortunately my Docker container doesn't have a folder /usr/src/linux. And I don't want to compile Linux for Debian, but for a custom root file system. But I don't know it that matters in this case. – OrangeTux Apr 25 '15 at 7:51

This sounds like a permissions problem. Either user permissions (chmod or acl), MAC (Mandatory Access Control, often selinux or similar) or filesystem write permissions. I think it is probably the third in that your container is not able to write to the device.

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  • Even after chown and chmod to give full access to output/ directory it returns same error. – OrangeTux Apr 25 '15 at 7:56
  • ok, you ruled out the first of the three possibilities I listed. – hildred Apr 25 '15 at 16:10

I solved that by:

1- Stop the lxc .

lxc stop <container-name>

2- Adjust the security privileged to true .

 lxc config set <container-name> security.privileged true

3- Start the container again .

lxc start 
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