You can build the kernel directly on your own PA-RISC box (self-hosted or native build). But on old systems, you may prefer to use another - faster - non PA-RISC computer to compile your kernel (cross-compilation). We will see the two possibilities.
Since Debian was the first distribution to support PA-RISC architecture, if you want to use the Super Cow powers, you need to have some basic knowledge about the Debian packaging system. We will explain here how to quickly get a gcc compiler ready on your PA-RISC box. If you are not using Debian, well, we're afraid we can't do much for you: you will have to transpose what is said below to your distribution. We will assume you know how to use
If you are using your own PA-RISC box, you only need the good old GCC compiler. You can install the required tools to build a kernel by issuing:
Essentially, this will install everything you need to build a kernel (and even a bit more). This boils down to binutils, gcc, libc-dev, make, fileutils and libncurses5-dev.
When this is done, you can proceed to the kernel settings.
In this kernel build method, everything depends on the architecture of your building machine. If you want to compile your own toolchain, there is a slightly out-of-date HOWTO (O'Donell 2002). Otherwise, we assume you can either find a cross-compiler package for your build host, or make one by yourself.