November 24th, 2004, 17:29
I've gotten the "must-have" issues settled in the kernel for my laptop: sound, APM, VESA modes, PCMCIA, etc. What I lack is more precise knowledge of what I can delete from the kernel config, things that will never be used in my laptop. Reading the Handbook leaves me puzzled because I just don't know hardware that well.

Maybe I'll get lucky someday and find a USB modem I can afford that works. For now, any networking will be via PCMCIA cards. I haven't seen the modem yet that comes with it; I may be using a friend's ethernet card on occasion for his DSL connection. I also may connect my digital camera via USB. This thing has the usual ports on the back edge of the case, plus an IR port. I'm running 4.9 because I have all the pre-compiled packages in a CD set, and because the harddrive is limited to about 3GB total. I'm running XFce 3.x as my only GUI. No Qt libs, GNOME packages, nothing.

So tell me, is there a list of things anyone can tell me I do not need in the kernel? I'd like to trim it as much as possible, given the lack of horsepower in this thing. I'll be rebuilding at least once more for security updates only.

November 24th, 2004, 19:58
Reasonable strategy: remove things that aren't mentioned in the dmesg as being detected. So if you see fxp0 (Intel Etherexpress chipset) be configured, remove all the other PCI ethernet adapters (rl, sis, etc.).

If in doubt, two possible strategies: (A) check LINT to see if there are any comments about it being req'd or not; or (B) just rip it out and try booting that kernel. If it fails to see an important thing, eg sound card, put it back! :-)

In general:
- remove all the ISA cards (eg: all below "ISA Ethernet NICs"; search for "ISA").
- remove the EISA bus ("device eisa") and any device that says EISA
- remove all the SCSI drivers and peripherals
- remove all the RAID drivers and peripherals
- if you don't use VPNs or IPv6, remove "gif", "faith", "tun"

Lots of USB devices that you may not need, USB ethernet, MP3 players.
Firewire goes; it's a long list! :-)