Using customized kernels ?

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lmintnewb
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Using customized kernels ?

Post by lmintnewb » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:20 pm

Even though am newbish and don't feel all that confident atm when it comes to customizing and compiling kernels for all my fav nix. The idea of it still intrigues me and research shows it's not the most difficult undertaking in the world.

Was wondering what peoples thoughts are on it ? Esp anyone who has actual experience to go on. Is removing all the unneeded bloat and streamlining the kernel in use worth it ? Has anyone had consistent favorable results and benefits in doing so ? It does stand to reason it would be an improvement. As generic kernels shipped with distro's are meant to support everything and the kitchen sink. Even though a particular user would have no need for much of it.

A streamlined kernel, with all that bloat removed would have to load faster and use less RAM, have better support for an individual users hardware ... etc. Than the generic, ... yes, no ... maybe ? And/or the possibility of customizing to fit a persons hardware and needs or expand and add functionality. Seems like it could have real potential. What have people's findings and experiences been with such things ?


Thanks. :D

steev
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Re: Using customized kernels ?

Post by steev » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:16 pm

I usually compile my own kernels, mostly just for fun.

They do use a little less RAM than the distro kernels, but unless you have very limited resources available it's not really worth it, IMO. The distro kernels usually have most (but not all) of the drivers compiled as modules so they don't need to be loaded if the hardware doesn't need them.

I did shave about 4 seconds off my boot time by compiling a custom kernel, but boot time isn't that important to me.

Anyway, it is a good learning experience.

The easiest way to build a stripped down kernel is to use Pappy's kernel seeds
http://kernel-seeds.org/

They are minimal kernel configs will almost all of the drivers removed.
You add the drivers you need yourself (see working with a kernel seed)

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DrHu
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Re: Using customized kernels ?

Post by DrHu » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:37 pm

lmintnewb wrote:A streamlined kernel, with all that bloat removed would have to load faster and use less RAM, have better support for an individual users hardware ... etc. Than the generic, ... yes, no ... maybe ?
A streamlined kernel, with all that bloat removed .. have better support for an individual users hardware
I wouldn't necessarily call it bloat, more simply devices you don't use, example bluewave, if you have no need of bluewave support don't include it in the kernel as built (custom) or unload the bluewave module (generic), if such an option is available in the GUI (desktop), or you have to manage it on your own via the startup text files..
--Gentoo uses a system whereby the user is required to create their own kernel(custom) as part of the installation from source, although they have changed that a bit by also enabling user support for a pre-built kernel, which they also want you to customize..; and of course there are some distributions that use the Gentoo sources and XML script but allow binary files (sabayon) to be installed instead of compiling from source
  • Gentoo is a good learning experience, at least it lets you see what a compiler is doing with source files..
http://www.gentoo.org/
http://www.sabayon.org/

Yes a custom kernel should be quicker than a generic kernel, however the generic kernels usually use modules, so the relative size of a custom vs a generic kernel is probably insignificant
--and the generic kernel is easier for the distributor to manage

lmintnewb
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Re: Using customized kernels ?

Post by lmintnewb » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:45 am

Appreciate the responses guys n/or gals.

Don't truly know enough about the process yet Dr Hu. Though it does make sense a smaller kernel with built in support for only the particular hardware being used would perk things up a bit. Am to understand many distro's put in custom patches to make it work better with whatever they've cooked up. Still too uninitiated to deal with it atm. Latest patches to add features n functionality or better support. Getting rid of bloat modules. etc.

liquorix kernels vs. vanilla's and custom compiling are still a bit beyond me right now. Google would seem the best resource to really get a clear picture of what's poss I guess. Figured couldn't hurt to ask here too. Don't have anything against Gentoo. Only atm have my hands full trying to figure out the one's already installed and resist the temptation of installing more. :D

Was just hoping to hear from nix users with hands on. Which Im sure the Dr has. Where are all the kernel hackers in the Mint community !?!?! Step forth and be heard on the topic of kernel hacking, tweakage and customization ! Thanks for the replies so far ... Hope people keep em coming ... Also BUMP !!!

:D

metapsychologist
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Re: Using customized kernels ?

Post by metapsychologist » Tue Aug 09, 2011 12:12 am

I compiled 3 am currently using 3.0.0 compiled it in Ubuntu and after I installed mint I copied it to this distro and it is working fine

Linux metapsychiatrist-ML6720 3.0.0 #2 SMP Fri Jul 22 20:02:30 EDT 2011 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

It isn't hard I just started using Linux in June and am not real experienced, but if you follow the instructions you'll do just fine

http://book.opensourceproject.org.cn/ke ... 1sec2.html
http://www.tuxradar.com/content/how-com ... nux-kernel
http://unixbhaskar.wordpress.com/2010/0 ... ributions/
http://www.google.com/search?client=ubu ... 8&oe=utf-8
http://book.opensourceproject.org.cn/ke ... 1sec2.html
http://linuxgazette.net/111/krishnakumar.html
http://www.digitalhermit.com/linux/Kern ... RATION-2-6
http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/kernel ... 2-6-a.html

just do a little reading to become aware of the process and then jump right in!

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