i start off my custom kernel configs with the stock arch configs - when i have not done this i got caught when the PCMCIA stuff changed from 2.6.9 to 2.6.10.
i am having to do lots of recompiles at the moment to track down a bug (i think this may trash my hardware eventually but anyway...)
what i want to do is completely remove everything i don't use and won't use before i recompile my next kernel.
i have a laptop so having to recompile when i get a new soundard or graphics card isn't an issue!
seeing as compiling all the graphics cards and sound card modules seems totally unecessary i want to check which ones i need fro certain and not build the others but i have no idea what to leave out.
With everything switched on, do an "lsmod". When you're compiling a kernel, looking at "help" for an item usually ends with the name of the module, so you can match it up. If the original config comes with something compiled into the kernel rather than compiled as a module then best to leave it at that.
You can probably do without lots of the ip/connection tracking stuff if you're sitting behind a router firewall.
usually there is also information about the supported hardware in the help text.
i do remove everything not necessary and build everything frequently used directly in my kernel (soundcard diver, filesystems, etc.).
ok - i don't want to rush this - i am currently trying to just get a stable but patched kernel going. i'll do what has been suggested about getting an lsmod - i was thinking about the modules reports that hwd supplies as well.
then i'll come back here and discuss further
lets clarify - if i am using - and will only use - one sound card and one graphics card - i don't need ANY of the other modules right?
actually AKAIK i don't even use a kernel module for my graphics card - i just use the xorg driver - does that sound about right? cheers for saving me from the trial and error by the way!