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Old 10-03-2006, 05:29 PM   #1
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Russia/Iceland
Distribution: Ubuntu 6, NetBSD 3.1, Cygwin
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Probing hardware tool for kernel config

Is there a universal tool for probing hardware and determing which features can be safely removed from the .config file used in kernel building? Today I removed a lot of features that seemed to me unused using the menu xconfig command, but the new kernel didn't boot. So I've found myself choosing between 2 evils - there's dozens and hundreds drivers I wouldn't need (telephony, amateur radio, video cards I don't have etc etc etc) but I don't know exactly about many of these features whether they're relevant for my hardware or not, whether I should them remove. The standard device probing program on my Ubuntu 6 doesn't help much. So at the moment I'm compiling a new kernel with all this load of stuff set by default, but it sucks a bit that I'm forced to using drivers I might not need at all. Doesn't anyone know any kind of a tool that could resolve this problem?
Old 10-03-2006, 05:48 PM   #2
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If these extra drivers are compiled as kernel modules, as most (just about all) of them are usually by default, then there's really no problem. The only downside is a little extra disk space storing them and a little longer compile time when you redo your kernel. Your system will not run slower, or use more memory, because of a few unused modules laying around. You will use a bit more disk space to store them, but it's usually insignificant in the grand scheme of things. You can get rid of the things you OBVIOUSLY won't be needing when you compile the kernel, but if it's not 100% obvious then I'd say just let it compile (as a module). Your CPU needs to work up a good sweat every now and then anyway! (To keep the thermal paste conducting well )
Old 10-03-2006, 05:57 PM   #3
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No tool I know of. The Docs within the kernel source explain what many of the modules that can be built will work with. Easiest way if unsure then make as module. Like haertig says it will take up more space but will not impact on performance because if not needed then it is not loaded.

Old 10-03-2006, 06:12 PM   #4
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It won't configure your kernel for you, but lshw is a good tool for finding out what you've got lurking under the hood. The GUI version (gtk-lshw) organizes things nicely.
Old 10-04-2006, 06:12 AM   #5
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Russia/Iceland
Distribution: Ubuntu 6, NetBSD 3.1, Cygwin
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Thank you Hangdog42!!! This is tool is practically what I needed!!!
Yes, you are right, guys, about compiling things as modules, but you always want your system to be perfect and kernel being compiled some ten minutes shorter...
Old 02-14-2007, 12:01 AM   #6
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Stick with your drivers like the amateur radio, you don't know when you'll be needing them.

Amateur Radio Catalogs - Download Radio Catalogs and Radio Brochures for Free


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