I install Ubuntu 7.10 Server edition, it was nice required less resources. GUI was missing, but the resources it saved where more important than X11.
Then I wanted to install Ultra Monkey and for that I read that first kernel needs to be patched up. I downloaded the kernel source from kernel.org, unzipped it and tried "make menuconfig" to my surprise it gave error and it was hard to understand.
Googling made me land on the fact that it requires ncurses-devel
I tried "sudo apt-get install kernel-package libncurses5-dev fakeroot wget bzip2"
and then "make menuconfig", now things work...