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Old 01-16-2004, 02:36 PM   #1
GruntboyX
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Registered: Nov 2003
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Exclamation Questions about Modules


Ok... i am new to linux. I installed Gentoo on my laptop and have most everything running...sort of. But what i really wish someone would explain is Modules. When configureing a kernel i notice you can have certain options compiled to the kernel or as modules. Whats the difference...advantages , disadvantages. How do i load modules. or unload them. Lets see what else..... And is there a way to just have linux auto detect my hardware configuration at boot? i noticed red hat did this. yes i am a ultra noob.. but not afraid to try things new. Just kinda looking for a linux for dummies explination of things.

 
Old 01-16-2004, 02:52 PM   #2
Nu-Bee
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Re: Questions about Modules

Quote:
Originally posted by GruntboyX
Ok... i am new to linux. I installed Gentoo on my laptop and have most everything running...sort of. But what i really wish someone would explain is Modules. When configureing a kernel i notice you can have certain options compiled to the kernel or as modules. Whats the difference...advantages , disadvantages. How do i load modules. or unload them. Lets see what else..... And is there a way to just have linux auto detect my hardware configuration at boot? i noticed red hat did this. yes i am a ultra noob.. but not afraid to try things new. Just kinda looking for a linux for dummies explination of things.

Think of modules this way....

A kernel might be compiled with all this stuff in, but now instead of a kernel that is 1.4M (floppy sized)you might end up with a kernel 1.9M or larger...meaning having to use special floppy formats, etc..

This also means that every time the kernel loads...it takes up a larger amount of memory; is longer to boot...and if you don't need that portion (module)...it is still loaded...eating up resources.

The solution to all this is the ability to load modules as they are needed. Also, even though I haven't searched how how...modules can be unloaded...whereas if they were in the kernel...it's always there.

Modules allow a wide variety without bloating the kernel and increasing boot time.

The downside is the loading & unloading of modules...but in practice this really is no problem.

And, you need to tell linux which modules to load...and this is done different ways in different distros.

In general I use modules every time I can...except thinks like the type of filesystem that the kernel looks for at boot.

I am sure that a lot more could be said, but in a nutshell...here it is.

I hope this helps.

Last edited by Nu-Bee; 01-16-2004 at 02:54 PM.
 
  


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