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#1 2005-11-02 11:34:54

Registered: 2005-07-25
Posts: 43

Compiling custom kernel... benefits?

Hi all,

Is there any benefits to creating your own custom kernel other than adding drivers not yet supported by the kernel???

To get me started & the know-how ... I'd like some tips on what I need to know/do to compile my own custom Kernel (as a get started guide).  I've added a list of my current system h/w if that helps.

A few pointers & suggestions would be nice (links, books...etc) ... thanks.

Intel P4 2.8GHz
2 HDD SATA (no raid)
External USB HDD
Onboard mobo NIC (Intel Pro 1000)
SoundBlaster X-Fi
2 LCD's
2GB RAM (PC 4000)


#2 2005-11-02 11:57:56

Forum Fellow
From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,839

Re: Compiling custom kernel... benefits?

Aerodyne wrote:

Is there any benefits to creating your own custom kernel other than adding drivers not yet supported by the kernel???

Actually, that's not usually the reason people do it - more the reverse. Most distro-supplied kernels, including Arch's, include drivers for almost everything, so that they will run on almost anything. If you build your own, you can leave out all but the drivers you need, ending up with a slimmer kernel. You can add unsupported drivers too, of course, but you don't always need to rebuild your kernel to do this. Take the madwifi driver, for example - you compile that against your running kernel, without touching the kernel itself.

Other unsupported drivers will come as a patch or patchset to be applied to the kernel source before compilation - examples here would be the likes of reiser4 support or Suspend2. You can also add performance-enhancing patchsets, like ck, or a "compilation" patchset, like our very own archck.

A good place to start would be here in our wiki - that will also introduce you to ABS, and the Arch way of doing these kind of things. For a more in-depth read, Google will throw up plenty of options - like this, for instance.

Take your time, and have fun.


#3 2005-11-02 12:04:34

From: ~
Registered: 2004-11-02
Posts: 230

Re: Compiling custom kernel... benefits?

It's just fun to compile your own kernel lol and you can stay more up-to-date.


#4 2005-11-02 14:36:40

From: Augusta, GA
Registered: 2005-06-02
Posts: 693

Re: Compiling custom kernel... benefits?

I think it's a lot simpler to compile your own kernel than to have to read up about somebody else's kernel. You know exactly what's in it. The linux kernel is a very customizable thing, and I personally believe a one-shot solution for all systems (distro managed kernels) is hardly adequeate. You also learn more about how the kernel works, and if you are a good programmer you can even implement some new features into the kernel (and possibly create a patch for it so that others can use your code). I personally like to compile things into my kernel instead of having a bunch of modules, which you can only do by compiling yourself. That can arguably speed up boot-up time, plus any other things you take out of the kernel that you don't need.

Plus you got people like me who feel that a package manager should not manage the kernel-level stuff, such as the kernel and drivers and such. That, again, is a matter of taste.


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