One problem with Red Hat systems is that the kernel config is not as simple as, say, Slackware. You can’t simply just select the modules you think you need, add in devices, etc. and have the system boot correctly. The Red Hat config is quite customized. This is particularly true for workstation configs that use sound, USB, and fancy graphics cards. The problem with sticking with the published Red Hat kernel is that the RPMs for the kernel don’t get updated often. The trick is to use the configs that come in the Red Hat source RPMs. We discussed compiling the Linux kernel in this article. To modify this to work well with Red Hat systems, you need to use one of the configs in /usr/src/linux-2.4.9-31/configs after you install the Kernel Source RPM (Of course, the kernel version may change). Copy the config file you like to /usr/src/linux/.config. We used kernel-2.4.9-i686.config. Then, run make oldconfig, make xconfig to modify the config, etc. Red Hat will now boot without tons of errors. For production servers, be very careful about running tweaked kernels. You have the advantage of many, many people running the same exact RPM as you if you stick with the Red Hat stock kernels. For your workstation, though, or if you need a feature or performance of the later kernels, this may do the trick.
Paul is an Avid Tech Geek who Loves writing, Cycling and All Things Linux! He comes from a Background of Windows Administration along with Ubuntu/Centos Server administration. Paul holds industry wide certifications include CompTIA & Microsoft Accredited certifications.