It's my understanding that the linux kernel is compressed by the compiler when it is made, so that the RAM footprint used by the kernel initially is very small and thus helps with system stability.
You can make it even smaller by configuring and compling your own kernel from the source code. You can make it smaller by removing some kernel options and moving others to a module. You would only remove kernel options you are 100% sure that you will not be using on your machine. For other options the kernel will only let you move it to a module.
Hope this helps.
Edit: added a sentence to make it flow better.
Last edited by SETXBera; 07-25-2005 at 03:22 AM.