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Author Topic: compiling  (Read 1354 times)

Offline b1ackmai1er

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« on: February 12, 2011, 05:32:25 PM »

I was wondering what  benefits to the average user on compiling a custom version of the kernel?

If I wanted to compile a version specifically for my hardware/processor would there being any significant space saving or speed improvement?

Is there a lot of generic stuff in there that is unused by typical system?


Offline Rich

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Re: compiling
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2011, 08:07:15 PM »
Hi b1ackmai1er
I am running Debian on one of my machines and have recompiled the kernel about a
dozen times, and quite frankly I've never noticed any speed improvements. I also
wound up recompiling a couple of times to put things back in later on to support
certain hardware and software functions. That "generic stuff" actually serves a useful
purpose. Suppose you are forced to replace your motherboard or video card. If you
compile with only your existing hardware in mind and had to replace something you
might find yourself compiling again because your kernel will no longer boot. Here's
a brief heads up of what you are in for. After you download the kernel source files and
unpack them you run "make menuconfig". You will be presented with a tree structured
menu of items you can turn on, off, and in some cases adjust values. There is a window
which gives information on the item you are looking at. The info for each item varies from
good to incomprehensible to non-existant. There are a couple of thousand items available
so be prepared to spend at least an hour going through them. Now here comes the best
part, some items interact and you won't necessarily know about it. You may disable an item
and as a result the config tool will disable another item that you already configured, so you
may have to go through it a second time to see if something got changed behind your back.
I'm not trying to scare you off, just want you to go in with open eye's. There are no hidden
magic switches that will give you a big performance boost. After that you can relax for a
couple of hours (depending how fast your machine is) while the compiler cranks away.

[EDIT]: If you disable item P and the config tool disables item C, and you change your mind
           and re-enable item P, you may still have to re-enable item C yourself.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 07:01:12 AM by Rich »

Offline b1ackmai1er

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Re: compiling
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2011, 02:08:43 AM »
Hi Rich,

Thanks for your reply. I suspected that would be the case.