LinuxQuestions.org
Welcome to the most active Linux Forum on the web.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


View Poll Results: Do you build your own kernel?
Yes 23 35.94%
No 24 37.50%
Depends 17 26.56%
Voters: 64. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 03-27-2008, 04:34 PM   #1
3rods
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 70

Rep: Reputation: 16
Question Building Your Own Kernel: Still Necessary?


If I understand correctly (and I might not) most newer linux distros allow you to add modules to the linux kernel in almost a hot plug/plug-and-play approach.

Is there really any reason to build your own kernel? Other than just wanting to be an ubergeek or for a highly specialized project.

Does the added functionality or smaller footprint outweigh the fact that you lose the ability to automatically update your kernel when your distro releases an update?

Thoughts?

Last edited by 3rods; 03-27-2008 at 04:36 PM. Reason: typo
 
Old 03-27-2008, 04:38 PM   #2
pljvaldez
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Somewhere on the String
Distribution: Debian Wheezy (x86)
Posts: 6,094

Rep: Reputation: 271Reputation: 271Reputation: 271
For me it depends. I always build my own kernel on older machines (I'm talking Celeron 400MHz w/ 256MB RAM, basically anything less than 1GHz and 256MB RAM) because the speed increase is noticeable. I'm sure you'd also do it if you were doing embedded devices (not that I have any experience).

Also occasionally one of the distros will ship with a particular "experimental" kernel feature disabled that I want to use.

But I would say 99% of the time I just stick with the stock kernel that comes with Debian.
 
Old 03-27-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
Tinkster
Moderator
 
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: in a fallen world
Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
Posts: 23,066
Blog Entries: 11

Rep: Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910Reputation: 910
Do I still build my own kernel? Yes!

Is it necessary? That depends on how you define "necessary".

I don't modify my hardware at a rate that would make "plugging
drivers on the fly" a matter of concern. I do like full control,
and performance, and a small memory foot-print.


Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 03-27-2008, 06:00 PM   #4
syg00
LQ Veteran
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: Lots ...
Posts: 14,848

Rep: Reputation: 1823Reputation: 1823Reputation: 1823Reputation: 1823Reputation: 1823Reputation: 1823Reputation: 1823Reputation: 1823Reputation: 1823Reputation: 1823Reputation: 1823
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rods View Post
Does the added functionality or smaller footprint outweigh the fact that you lose the ability to automatically update your kernel when your distro releases an update?
Nothing to do with it. Package management handles that.

Short answer - yes.
Something you appear not to have considered; would you prefer to install code (kernel included) that no-one had bothered testing ???.
 
Old 03-27-2008, 06:06 PM   #5
pljvaldez
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Somewhere on the String
Distribution: Debian Wheezy (x86)
Posts: 6,094

Rep: Reputation: 271Reputation: 271Reputation: 271
Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
Something you appear not to have considered; would you prefer to install code (kernel included) that no-one had bothered testing ???.
Using Debian stable, I'm not sure "no-one" had bothered testing it is quite accurate. But for an enterprise server, sure as shootin' you'd want to test everything in the test bed before taking it live.
 
Old 03-27-2008, 06:49 PM   #6
rkelsen
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: slackware
Posts: 1,960

Rep: Reputation: 333Reputation: 333Reputation: 333Reputation: 333
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkster View Post
I do like full control, and performance, and a small memory foot-print.
Bingo.

That plus I like to remove all the stuff I don't need. The default kernels are loaded with drivers for hardware I've never even heard about. Why should I burden my system with them?
 
Old 03-28-2008, 12:29 PM   #7
H_TeXMeX_H
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: $RANDOM
Distribution: slackware64
Posts: 12,928
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 1285Reputation: 1285Reputation: 1285Reputation: 1285Reputation: 1285Reputation: 1285Reputation: 1285Reputation: 1285Reputation: 1285
I compile my own, mostly because it reduces bugginess and increases performance and teaches you something. On my system for example, there are lots of bugs if I don't disable certain things, I know I could probably disable most of them by passing options to the kernel, but that's just laziness. Also, there are things which will increase performance, sometimes drastically. And, of course, it will teach you something, especially if you've never done it before. Or you can just take the blue pill like the majority. I wonder if you know where that will get you ...
 
Old 03-28-2008, 12:41 PM   #8
LinuxCrayon
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2007
Location: Georgia, USA
Distribution: FreeBSD
Posts: 274

Rep: Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
Or you can just take the blue pill like the majority. I wonder if you know where that will get you ...
Cipher wished he had taken the blue pill instead of the red.

I'd say that compiling the kernel isn't necessary, but it is fun. Most of the computers rolling out today are fine with stock kernels for desktop applications.

For the speed demons, compiling the kernel is a necessity. For those who want to learn, compiling is required. For those with old hardware or enterprise/business class hardware, compiling is a must.
 
Old 03-28-2008, 02:01 PM   #9
Nylex
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: London, UK
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 7,464

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I don't compile my own kernel as the standard Slackware generic kernel is fine for me. Yes, it does contain stuff that I don't need, but that's really not an issue for me.
 
Old 03-28-2008, 02:19 PM   #10
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 19,192
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 469Reputation: 469Reputation: 469Reputation: 469Reputation: 469
I'm the opposite - the standard kernel doesn't include everything I need so I download a current kernel from kernel.org and compile away. Alien Bob's wiki is a good site for this.
 
Old 03-28-2008, 03:21 PM   #11
tsg
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 155

Rep: Reputation: 30
It depends. For a workstation, I generally use the stock Slackware kernel. For servers, I strip them of everything I don't need.
 
Old 03-29-2008, 07:25 PM   #12
lambchops468
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2007
Location: New Jersey, USA
Distribution: Archlinux
Posts: 165

Rep: Reputation: 30
depends, if i want a feature thats not present in the standard kernel shipped with whatever distro, then i'll do it.

example is tickless for 64bit. (because most distros' latest release was before the kernel came to suppor that)
 
Old 03-29-2008, 10:57 PM   #13
konsolebox
Senior Member
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Gentoo, Slackware, LFS
Posts: 2,248
Blog Entries: 8

Rep: Reputation: 235Reputation: 235Reputation: 235
that should be generally yes for a long use system regardless if it's a new system or an old system,.. a workstation or a server.. not temporary like live systems or the likes which would be impossible or impractical
 
Old 03-30-2008, 05:29 AM   #14
crashmeister
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2002
Distribution: t2 - trying to anyway
Posts: 2,541

Rep: Reputation: 47
Normally not - that way I went thru 3 boxes with the same drives and just had to plug them in.
 
Old 03-30-2008, 06:07 AM   #15
brianL
LQ 5k Club
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Oldham, Lancs, England
Distribution: Slackware & Slackware64 14.1
Posts: 7,453
Blog Entries: 55

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I haven't done yet. But who knows what I might get up to in the future?
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
kernel panic after building custom kernel for macbook sparrott Linux - Laptop and Netbook 1 06-29-2007 06:06 PM
Building kernel module from multiple source file in 2.6 kernel yogeshwar_s Programming 1 12-20-2004 10:31 AM
Problems building a simple kernel module for kernel 2.6.7 atticman Linux - Software 2 12-13-2004 04:35 PM
Building Linux kernel with 2.6 ( kernel ) raees Linux - General 1 03-16-2004 05:44 PM
Building kernel mods for an existing kernel ugenn Linux - Software 2 10-06-2003 02:25 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:55 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration