For a default build, just run:
After done, you can collect the built image from under the deploy folder, for example: build/tmp/deploy/glibc/images/vmware/bzImage-vmware.bin.
Kernel image type
What kind of kernel image to build is controlled by the variable KERNEL_IMAGETYPE, which is normally defined in the machine config file. For example, build image for u-boot
KERNEL_IMAGETYPE = "uImage"
Select kernel version
The default .config file used is normally placed somewhere under recipes/linux named defconfig. You may want to search for it, say for vmware:
find recipes/linux -name "vmware*"
And you find it in:
Apply custom patches
If you need to customize the kernel configuration, you may run the menuconfig task by:
bitbake -c menuconfig virtual/kernel
Note: by default these command requires you to run in X Windows. If you want to work in text terminal only, here's a how to.
After that, you can compile the kernel by:
bitbake -f -c compile virtual/kernel
If you need more control over the configuration and compile process, add this somewhere into your local.conf:
INHERIT += "devshell"
and then you can go to the shell by:
bitbake -c devshell virtual/kernel
The build environment will be well setup for you; you can run regular make commands like make bzImage ...etc
Preserving the custom configuration
Changes are lost if you remove the tmpdir or do a "bitbake -c clean virtual/kernel", so you may consider replacing the defconfig with it.