If you're ever needed to compile the Linux Kernel on a Raspberry Pi, you've probably noticed that it takes a long time. We sure have.

If you have a desktop computer or a laptop with decent hardware specs, it seems like there ought to be an easy way to use all that processing power to generate a new kernel for your Pi, but it can be tricky to figure out the specifics. Enter the Adafruit Pi Kernel-o-Matic, which uses Vagrant to run a virtual machine pre-configured for compiling kernels and produces a package suitable for installation on a Raspbian machine.

Vagrant is for "creating and configuring virtual development environments".  What does that mean?  Well, really, it's a simple way to set up a virtual machine (VM) running an operating system of your choice. It uses VirtualBox to run VMs, and works on OS X, Windows, and Linux.

Getting a new kernel can be (almost!) as simple as:

cd Adafruit-Pi-Kernel-o-Matic
vagrant up
vagrant ssh
sudo ./build.sh

Interested? You'll just need to install a bit of software. Read on for specifics.

This guide was first published on Jan 30, 2015. It was last updated on Jan 30, 2015.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Jun 23, 2021.

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