I have a bug in a driver (iwlwifi/iwlagn), which I have reported, and the developers are asking me to "build the driver with debug options enabled." More specifically:

Debugging output is enabled when compiling the driver with CONFIG_IWLWIFI_DEBUG set to "y".

I do have the source. How do I put that option in when compiling?


This debugging option i.e. CONFIG_IWLWIFI_DEBUG is used for enabling the debugging of your WiFi card.

You have to enable this option by adding a line in the .config file in the /usr/src/linux-headers-(kernel-version) directory.


This .config file contains all the kernel options which you want to use while compiling the kernel.

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  • What does boot have with compiling a kernel? Also, can't the module be compiled on its own? – jonallard Feb 27 '12 at 21:11
  • @jonallard You can compile a module on its own, but if it's shipped with the kernel, it's easier to take the .config from your distribution, run make menuconfig or make xonfig to add the debug option you want and recompile everything. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Feb 27 '12 at 23:07
  • @Gilles That's helpful, thank you. Why would it be easier to recompile the whole kernel rather than only a module? That seems counter-intuitive. – jonallard Feb 28 '12 at 18:32
  • @jonallard There are preexisting tutorials and commands to compile a whole kernel; the computer may churn for a long time, but it's easier for you than finding the appropriate commands to compile a module for your running kernel. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Feb 28 '12 at 18:54
  • @Gilles My question was: why is it so? A module is smaller than the whole kernel, so why is it easier to compile the whole thing rather than a small part of it? – jonallard Feb 28 '12 at 23:25

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