compiling linux kernel

luke speakup at
Fri Aug 22 17:56:58 EDT 2008

On Thu, 21 Aug 2008, Tyler Littlefield wrote:

> menuconfig seems to be going rather well, I'm able to navigate with 
> grml, *cheers* I've got a question though, I'm not totally sure what all 
> I do and don't need in my kernel. Is there somewhere that would show a 
> minimal kernel with other options?

Have you been looking at the help screens for the various options?

If not, those can be accessed by typing, if I recall correctly, a 
questionmark while your cursor is on the option in question.

Most of those are helpful in determining whether you need the 
functionality the option provides.  However, a word of warning -- kernel 
compiling is not for the faint of heart: you really should know the 
specifications of the system you are compiling for.
That said, if you aren't sure, and there is an option to modularize 
something, it's often okay to just do that to be safe.
As long as you don't modularize anything you need to mount file systems 
and the like--A.K.A. things you would need to actually load the modules.

Questions you should know the answers to:

What buses do you have?  Surely PCI, and USB at the least.
Are you using SATA, PATA (Ultra ATA), SCSI, or something else to access 
your drives?
What kind of networking do you need to configure for?
What kind of processor do you have?
Do you have more than 2 GB of physical RAM?

Those are probably the most basic questions.

lsmod, lshw, lspci, lsusb, and similar tools are your friend, to see the 
configuration of your current (working) system.



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