Every time I recompile the kernel, the kernel build number changes a little.

file arch/x86/boot/bzImage
Linux kernel x86 boot executable bzImage, version 4.18.6 (b00m@acer) #6 SMP Thu Sep 13 09:46:23 IST 2018, RO-rootFS, swap_dev 0x3, Normal VGA

I know the #6 means it's the the 6th build.

But what's it's actual purpose of this?

Are kernel modules compiled later after make clean compatible with a previous build?


The build number does not "change a little", it is incremented. The "#6" means that it is the 6th kernel you have built.

The kernel modules will be compatible with the previous build if you haven't changed kernel options that make them incompatible. As you don't know What options can introduce incompatibilities, it's best to just install the kernel together with the modules from the same configuration. If you just added new modules, it is likely you didn't create incompatible changes, so you can try to load the new modules into the previous kernel.

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  • I didn't had the proper word, increment, instead of "change a little" – Arnab Sep 13 '18 at 5:21

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