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thund3rstruck 04-18-2011 11:21 PM

Kernel Recompilation/Optimization
 
I'd like to experiment with trimming out all the drivers, programs, and services on a few linux laptops I have laying around so as to optimize (speed them up) specifically for my hardware.

Can anyone recommend a howto or walk-through that demonstrates how to optimize and recompile a kernel (./configure options, etc). I searched around for a few days but wasn't able to find anything with any depth. I understand that LFS is a possibility but I'd prefer to work from an existing system.

Does anyone here have experience recompiling kernels? Can doing this vastly improve system performance compared to a default distro installation?

Thanks!

macemoneta 04-19-2011 03:03 AM

Most recent distros use modular kernels. That means that only the parts needed to support the current hardware and services are loaded. The only savings you would get with a custom kernel is a few megabytes of disk space. On the downside, you would have to recompile a kernel for every piece of hardware you added. In short, don't bother trying to optimize the kernel.

You can get some significant savings by shutting down services you don't need. In a root terminal on Fedora, for example, you can run:

Code:

chkconfig --list | grep 5:on
That will get you a list on the running services. You can disable the ones you don't need with:

Code:

chkconfig <service name> off
service <service name> stop

For information on the service you can usually use 'man <service name>' or 'rpm -qi <service name>' to get details on the service.

thund3rstruck 04-19-2011 10:48 AM

Quote:

Most recent distros use modular kernels. That means that only the parts needed to support the current hardware and services are loaded. The only savings you would get with a custom kernel is a few megabytes of disk space.
Gotcha. Clearly the Linux space has improved greatly since 1998 (the last time I dug this deep into Linux OSes). I'll instead focus on halting un-necessary services and installing the most responsive window managers (wmaker, flux, etc).

Thanks!


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