I'm feeling proud of myself having built and installed a kernel for the first time, today. The main stumbling block, it turned out, was initramfs, or more precisely, the newly-created initrd.img-xxx file.

While I have a working kernel (i386, for Asus desktop) I'm still hazy on how to create the new initrd.img file. The default version of this file, from the Ubuntu distribution (11.10) is around 12 MB in size. The first initrd.img that I created was 2.6 MB and failed to boot (I got dumped into Busybox.) The next initrd.img that I created is 113 MB. This one allows a boot, though there's some garbage on the screen during the boot process. I have a hunch the new initrd.img file contains every single module that got built by 'make modules_install'. The command line I used was

update-initramfs -c -k 3.0.9

So -- I'm looking for any hints and tips on creating an initrd.img file on a current Ubuntu distribution, hopefully from user experience and not just something I've already found via google. Thanks!