The source code for the Linux kernel is kept in a group of directories called the kernel source tree. The structure of the kernel source tree is important because the process of compiling (building) the kernel is automated; it is controlled by scripts interpreted by the
make application. These scripts, known as makefiles, expect to find the pieces of the kernel code in specific places; if they don’t find them, they will not work. You learn how to use
make to compile a kernel later in this chapter.
It is not necessary for the Linux kernel source code to be installed on your system for the system to run or for you to accomplish typical tasks such as email, web browsing, or word processing. It is necessary that the kernel sources ...