Frequently Asked Questions

Many people who install KISS come across similar problems and misunderstandings in the process. Almost all of these have solutions documented somewhere in the KISS documentation, but it can be spread out, hard to find, and easy to miss. Therefore, this page collects solutions to some of the most common problems.

This is not a substitute for a thorough reading of the install guide and the appropriate wiki page.

This page does not answer questions about the philosophy of KISS, or why KISS is designed in any certain way. For those questions, refer to

[000] General tips for identifying build errors

If you use parallel make (make -jN), the actual error probably isn't at the bottom of the log. You'll need to look back through it, and find the first occurence of "Waiting for unfinished jobs....".

Try to find the particular command which failed (make gives you a file and line number), and see if you can reproduce the error by running that command by itself.

Often you might be missing a hidden dependency. Look for errors like "not found" or "no such file or directory".

Make sure your CFLAGS are like -O2 not -02 (letter O not number 0).

Search online for the error message. Look through issues in the community repo, in case someone's encountered it before.

If you need more help, the best place is IRC. Upload a full log to a pastebin.

Once you've found the solution, make a note of it so that others can learn. You could contribute it to this page.

[010] My kernel doesn't build!

[011] Busybox diff given unrecognized options

These are not causing the build to fail; they are only warnings.

[012] Errors about __always_inline, versions 5.12-5.18

Kernels with minor version 5.12-5.18 require the following patch to add an include:

$ sed -i '/<stdlib.h>/a #include <linux/stddef.h>' tools/objtool/arch/x86/decode.c

[013] env: can't execute 'bash': No such file or directory, versions 5.19 and 6.0

Kernels version 5.19 and 6.0 require bash to be built. There is a patch by $/ioraff available here to remove this dependency. Kernels 6.1 and later have had the patch merged into them already.

[020] Kernel config/boot problems

The kernel not booting can be a variety of issues. This is almost always related to a configuration issue in the kernel or the bootloader. The Gentoo wiki is useful for kernel configuration help.

KISS doesn't use an initramfs by default so the configuration of the kernel may have different requirements from other distributions.

[021] Essential drivers

Make sure you've enabled drivers for at least your boot and root filesystems, disk controller, and drives. They should be set to =y in your .config or [*] when using make menuconfig. Essentially, every driver the kernel requires to detect and mount the drive containing the root filesystem, must be built as a part of the kernel binary (rather than as modules).

[022] Boot stopped at "Loading Linux-X.Y.Z..."

You've almost certainly forgotten a driver, probably for the framebuffer (at least CONFIG_FB, CONFIG_FRAMEBUFFER_CONSOLE and CONFIG_FB_EFI or CONFIG_FB_VESA depending on your boot system).

[023] Including firmware

Choose some location, such as /usr/lib/firmware and install the firmware you need into it. This alone isn't enough; you need to tell the kernel the directory where to find firmware, and the filenames relative to this directory for everything you want to use. See kernel/firmware for details.

Firmware problems are most easily diagnosed by looking through dmesg.

[024] initramfs

KISS technically supports booting via an initramfs, it just doesn't require or provide one. As a user you have the means to set this up yourself for your system. A simple one is tinyramfs.

Full disk encryption is also possible without the use of an initramfs in modern kernels (see dm-mod.create).

[100] Software

[110] Is SOFTWARE packaged?

To quickly check through all the KISS repositories which exist, you can use the kiss-find tool:

$ kiss find music
gnome-music          42.1 1        gnome/gnome-music         main    "Mae Dartmann"  5.0.5 1  apps/  master  "Eudald Gubert i Roldan"
texlive-music        2022.62533 1       texlive/texlive-music     master  "Ethan"
zmusic               1.1.8 1    equipment/zmusic          master  "Claudia"

kiss-find is packaged in the community repo, or available here.

[120] Can you package SOFTWARE for me?

Do it yourself!

[130] Why isnt my mouse/keyboard working on tinyx?

You lack the correct drivers. Using PS/2 mouse and keyboard drivers however, seems to be what works for most users.

[140] Can I use LLVM instead of gcc?

Yes you can. You can use konimex/kiss-llvm as a reference to bootstrap llvm on a gcc system. To build kernel with llvm, you would need to pass make LLVM=1 LLVM_IAS=1.

[200] Misc

[210] Can I create a KISS linux live USB?

Yes, you can. Have a look at kiss-community/kiss-live.