[SATLUG] compiling a kernel

Bruce Dubbs bruce.dubbs at gmail.com
Sun Jun 22 19:46:51 CDT 2008

John D Choate wrote:
 > After 5.5 years of using Linux (Mandrake/Mandriva), I have never compiled a
 > kernel. I know it would be a good learning experience for me, but I've never
 > found any other reason for doing it.

1. Do *not* change the topic on an existing thread.  Start a new message/thread.

2. Do trim non-relevant text when replying to a message.

To answer your question, there are several reasons for compiling your own kernel:

a.  For learning as you mention.  Knowing how to do it gives you confidence in 
the process.

b.  For efficiency.  A standard distribution takes a lot longer to boot and is 
larger because everything is there.  Testing for dozens or hundreds of 
non-existent devices takes time.  Just compiling what you need leads to very 
efficient systems.  The size is small and the boot time is much faster.  My 
system takes about 20 seconds from power on to login prompt.  My kernel is 1.8M 
(no initrd) with the modules directory at 7.5M (4 modules - nvidia (7.2M) and 
vmware).  As a comparison, satlug runs RHEL and is 1.4M with initrd 481K and a 
modules directory of 29M (804 modules).

c.  For testing new stuff that hasn't made it into the kernel yet.

   -- Bruce

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