Set up a Development Environment to Build the Kernel

These instructions will help you set up a development environment for the SOF branch of the Linux kernel. If you have dedicated test hardware, you can use ktest to install it over ssh. Otherwise, you can install it locally on your device in addition to your default kernel.

Review the following prerequisites:

  • Development device: PC running Fedora* 35+ or Ubuntu* 20.04+.

  • Target device: PC running Fedora 35+ or Ubuntu 20.04+, with secure boot disabled. If the target device is different than the development device, you must be able to ssh into the target, which is typically on the same local network/VPN.

  1. Create a working directory.

    This directory can be located anywhere. Simply change the SOF_WORKSPACE variable if you would like to store your sources somewhere else.

    export SOF_WORKSPACE=~/work/sof
    mkdir -p $SOF_WORKSPACE
  2. Install kernel build dependencies.

    • Fedora (see their guide for details):

      sudo dnf install fedpkg
      fedpkg clone -a kernel
      cd kernel
      sudo dnf builddep kernel.spec
      sudo dnf install ccache
      cd ..
    • Ubuntu (see their page for details):

      sudo apt update
      sudo apt install git libncurses-dev gawk flex bison openssl libssl-dev dkms libelf-dev libudev-dev libpci-dev libiberty-dev autoconf dwarves zstd
  3. Download the configuration scripts.

    git clone
  4. Get the kernel source.

    There are two ways to get the kernel source. We strongly recommend using git as it makes updates much easier, but the zip download may be more successful if you have an unstable connection.

    • Option 1: Clone with git.

      git clone --depth=1
      cd linux


      If a maintainer requests that you check out a different branch to test a bug fix, add -b [branch] to the end of this command, where [branch] is the branch name.

    • Option 2: Download via zip.

      Visit the SOF Linux fork at If a maintainer asks you to test a specific branch, click the dropdown with the text “topic/sof-dev” and select the branch they asked you to test. Then, click the green Code dropdown and select Download ZIP. Once it is downloaded, extract it to the directory you created in the previous step:

      cd ~/Downloads
      unzip linux-*.zip -d $SOF_WORKSPACE
      mv linux-* linux
      cd linux

Your device should now be ready to configure and build the kernel. How to proceed depends on if you are installing locally or on dedicated test hardware.