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Old 07-06-2005, 06:42 AM   #1
ruiP
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Registered: Nov 2004
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The strange 'News Importante: Read this before posting!'


Hi,
I'm starting to use FreeBSD... still trying to get used to (from a linux user prespective)
I was looking for bsd forums and find this one.
Of course I read the:
News: Importante: Read this before posting!

I was amazed. Since the thread is closed i decided to create a new one for two points:

The FreeBSD Handbook, chapter 8.2 says:
Building a custom kernel is one of the most important rites of passage nearly every BSD user must endure. This process, while time consuming, will provide many benefits to your FreeBSD system. Unlike the GENERIC kernel, which must support a wide range of hardware, a custom kernel only contains support for your PC's hardware. This has a number of benefits, such as:

* Faster boot time. Since the kernel will only probe the hardware you have on your system, the time it takes your system to boot can decrease dramatically.
* Lower memory usage. A custom kernel often uses less memory than the GENERIC kernel, which is important because the kernel must always be present in real memory. For this reason, a custom kernel is especially useful on a system with a small amount of RAM.
* Additional hardware support. A custom kernel allows you to add in support for devices which are not present in the GENERIC kernel, such as sound cards.

exactly the opposite of what is said on the 'Read this before post'!

I don't know if the autor of the 'Read this before post? is right or wrong... But one i'm certain... even if his position is right, insulting or ridiculize others on mail lists or foruns, as he said it happens, it's absolutely wrong and only talks about what the insulting one is.

If that happen one should be ashamed and not to be proud and acclaiming that on a sticky thread of generic directives.

My opinion, of course.
 
Old 07-06-2005, 08:30 PM   #2
frob23
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Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Roughly 29.467N / 81.206W
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He is generally correct and especially correct on the OpenBSD front. There is almost no reason at all for the general user to compile their own kernel. Even on FreeBSD this is true, and especially true in the 5.x branch. For example, the last reason is completely negated for all kernels after the 4.x series because it is easier to just load the support through a module (which will exist for sound cards).

The second reason is surely valid... it is possible to save 2-3 Megs of memory by stripping out parts of the kernel. On a system with limited memory this might mean something... on most it doesn't. If 3 megs of RAM makes a performance difference for you, you would be much better off buying more memory than trying to find extra RAM by shrinking your kernel.

The first reason does have validity if you experience prolonged boot times where your hardware is causing delays in the probing process. I have only seen one system where I felt this was a justified reason (and that was because a SCSI card in the system caused a long delay in the probing but wasn't actually in use). On the rest, this rapidly loses validity based on a calculation muliplying the seconds gained by the number of times you actually expect to start the system. If you gain 10 seconds at boot (an astounding gain) and only start the computer once a month -- because you never shut it down -- what's the point? If you can gain 10 seconds and start it two or more times a day... maybe I could see it... but even then I doubt it would be a primary concern. More likely, you will gain about 1 or 2 seconds and start the computer about once a day. If you spent half an hour stripping the kernel (not counting the time to rebuild it) it takes a very long time for those 2 seconds to justify that effort.

Anyway, what's your point? If you want a custom kernel then build one. For most people, who want help, it is only going to add to the confusion and make it harder for us to help them. Which is one of the primary reasons it is not recommended. You will often get help on the FreeBSD mailing lists if you manage to get a kernel panic with a custom kernel but you had better be experienced with gdb and have build a debug kernel at the same time so you can provide detailed information about what went wrong and how.
 
Old 07-06-2005, 11:03 PM   #3
xaenn
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Registered: Nov 2004
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atapicam is pretty useful to compile into the kernel.

edit: in FreeBSD that is.
 
  


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