In debian jessie, I've installed the linux source with:

sudo apt-get install linux-source

I obtain a file /usr/src/linux-source-3.16.tar.xz, I copy it under my home directory, change the ownership and extract it:

sudo cp /usr/src/linux-source-3.16.tar.xz /home/orto/src
cd /home/orto/src
sudo chown orto:orto linux-source-3.16.tar.xz
tar xvf linux-source-3.16.tar.xz

The I run make allnoconfig which according to make help should answers no to all options:

allnoconfig - New config where all options are answered with no

but if I count the number of yes answers with:

grep "=y" .config | wc -l

I obtain 6541 yes answers. Why?

Edit (1)

This problem doesn't appear with the vanilla kernel.

git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git
cd linux-stable/
git checkout v3.16
make allnoconfig
grep "=y" .config | wc -l

I obtain only 193 yes answers.

Edit (2)

It appears that make allnoconfig generate the exact same .config file as make allyesconfig


Debian patches the official kernel code heavily, including the config program [1]. This changes how make allyesconfig/allnoconfig behaves. Also a lot of Kconfig files are modified and certain symbols selected without explicitly asking the user.

If you remove all patches with quilt pop -a in the source code of the related Linux package (you can get it with apt-get source linux-source-3.16) you get the same behaviour as with the vanilla kernel.

  • Do you think, that's a bug that should be reported? – Ortomala Lokni Jan 7 '16 at 10:48
  • You can report it with severity wishlist. – jofel Jan 7 '16 at 11:04

make tinyconfig is what you want


Edit: might only work on kernels >= 3.17

  • In kernel 3.16, I obtain Makefile:548: recipe for target 'tinyconfig' failed – Ortomala Lokni Jan 7 '16 at 6:43
  • Any error messages before that? And read the link I posted, especially about CONFIG_EXPERT and CONFIG_EMBEDDED – Dominik R Jan 7 '16 at 8:55
  • No, and in 3.16 grep -R tinyconfig gives nothing. The problem is maybe coming from this patch? – Ortomala Lokni Jan 7 '16 at 9:11

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