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I've been reading up on the "book" from the slackware homepage in preparation for the arrival of my slack 9.1 set. I have a few simple questions about modules and how they are used by the kernel.
First, am I correct in understanding that modules are basically device drivers that can allow the use of certain hardware when they are activated?
Second, modules can be inserted, or activated, at any time even after one compiles their kernel, right?
Third, am I also correct when I assume that the kernel itself can be compiled to include support for certain hardware directly, thereby excluding the need to include or activate modules for that hardware?
If my third point is correct, Im not sure I understand the need for the module system as it stands. Wouldnt it be easier to just compile a basic kernel and then plug in all the modules you need as you go? Does the system run faster or better if you configure a kernel for direct hardware support as opposed to modular support? Or conversely, what if you just compiled a kernel that included support for everything from the start? Or would that bog the system down?
Also, if it is so easy to turn on a module, except for actually upgrading a kernel version, I would assume that the need to recompile a kernel would be rather rare? As your hardware changes and matures, couldnt you just keep putting in new and better modules and keep the kernel as you originally configured it way back when?
Lastly, is there some kind of module database that keeps track of the lastest and greatest advances in that area for easy download and access?
If I got the whole thing wrong, or even a bit of it wrong, please correct me
and teach me how it really does work.