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Subject[PATCH 4.18 035/235] kbuild: do not update config when running install targets
4.18-stable review patch.  If anyone has any objections, please let me know.


From: Masahiro Yamada <>

[ Upstream commit d79424137a7312d381d131d707a462440c0e8df9 ]

"make syncconfig" is automatically invoked when any of the following

- .config is updated
- any of Kconfig files is updated
- any of environment variables referenced in Kconfig is changed

Then, it updates configuration files such as include/config/auto.conf
include/generated/autoconf.h, etc.

Even install targets (install, modules_install, etc.) are no exception.
However, they should never ever modify the source tree. Install
targets are often run with root privileges. Once those configuration
files are owned by root, "make mrproper" would end up with permission

Install targets should just copy things blindly. They should not care
whether the configuration is up-to-date or not. This makes more sense
because we are interested in the configuration that was used in the
previous kernel building.

This issue has existed since before, but rarely happened. I expect
more chance where people are hit by this; with the new Kconfig syntax
extension, the .config now contains the compiler information. If you
cross-compile the kernel with CROSS_COMPILE, but forget to pass it
for "make install", you meet "any of environment variables referenced
in Kconfig is changed" because $(CC) is referenced in Kconfig.
Another scenario is the compiler upgrade before the installation.

Install targets need the configuration. "make modules_install" refer
to CONFIG_MODULES etc. "make dtbs_install" also needs CONFIG_ARCH_*
to decide which dtb files to install. However, the auto-update of
the configuration files should be avoided. We already do this for
external modules.

Now, Make targets are categorized into 3 groups:

[1] Do not need the kernel configuration at all

help, coccicheck, headers_install etc.

[2] Need the latest kernel configuration

If new config options are added, Kconfig will show prompt to
ask user's selection.

Build targets such as vmlinux, in-kernel modules are the cases.

[3] Need the kernel configuration, but do not want to update it

Install targets except headers_install, and external modules
are the cases.

Signed-off-by: Masahiro Yamada <>
Signed-off-by: Sasha Levin <>
Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman <>
Makefile | 27 ++++++++++++++++++++-------
1 file changed, 20 insertions(+), 7 deletions(-)

--- a/Makefile
+++ b/Makefile
@@ -225,10 +225,12 @@ no-dot-config-targets := $(clean-targets
cscope gtags TAGS tags help% %docs check% coccicheck \
$(version_h) headers_% archheaders archscripts \
kernelversion %src-pkg
+no-sync-config-targets := $(no-dot-config-targets) install %install

-config-targets := 0
-mixed-targets := 0
-dot-config := 1
+config-targets := 0
+mixed-targets := 0
+dot-config := 1
+may-sync-config := 1

ifneq ($(filter $(no-dot-config-targets), $(MAKECMDGOALS)),)
ifeq ($(filter-out $(no-dot-config-targets), $(MAKECMDGOALS)),)
@@ -236,6 +238,16 @@ ifneq ($(filter $(no-dot-config-targets)

+ifneq ($(filter $(no-sync-config-targets), $(MAKECMDGOALS)),)
+ ifeq ($(filter-out $(no-sync-config-targets), $(MAKECMDGOALS)),)
+ may-sync-config := 0
+ endif
+ifneq ($(KBUILD_EXTMOD),)
+ may-sync-config := 0
ifeq ($(KBUILD_EXTMOD),)
ifneq ($(filter config %config,$(MAKECMDGOALS)),)
config-targets := 1
@@ -610,7 +622,7 @@ ARCH_CFLAGS :=
include arch/$(SRCARCH)/Makefile

ifeq ($(dot-config),1)
-ifeq ($(KBUILD_EXTMOD),)
+ifeq ($(may-sync-config),1)
# Read in dependencies to all Kconfig* files, make sure to run syncconfig if
# changes are detected. This should be included after arch/$(SRCARCH)/Makefile
# because some architectures define CROSS_COMPILE there.
@@ -625,8 +637,9 @@ $(KCONFIG_CONFIG) include/config/
include/config/%.conf: $(KCONFIG_CONFIG) include/config/auto.conf.cmd
$(Q)$(MAKE) -f $(srctree)/Makefile syncconfig
-# external modules needs include/generated/autoconf.h and include/config/auto.conf
-# but do not care if they are up-to-date. Use auto.conf to trigger the test
+# External modules and some install targets need include/generated/autoconf.h
+# and include/config/auto.conf but do not care if they are up-to-date.
+# Use auto.conf to trigger the test
PHONY += include/config/auto.conf

@@ -638,7 +651,7 @@ include/config/auto.conf:
echo >&2 ; \

+endif # may-sync-config

# Dummy target needed, because used as prerequisite

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