Kernel configuration - Printable Version
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Kernel configuration - Malakian - 14-08-2015

Hi Nixers.

Let me describe my problem.

I've been using GNU/Linux for about 3 years so far. I consider myself to be quite advanced user. For some time I've been using Archlinux, although I didn't feel comfortable with it. Mainly because of systemd.

Hence, I decided to try another disctro which init system doesn't pretend to be everything.

Since Archlinux does not come into play, I've done a little research which clearly shows that Gentoo and CRUX seem to be nice alternatives. Unfortunately, both of them require kernel compilation.
Personally, I think configuring kernel by hand is just pain in the ass. Hundreds of options that require deep understanding of operating system concepts and PC architecture.

So my question is - How do you handle your kernel configuration & compilation task? Are there any tool that helps you automatically detect hardware or something? Gentoo doesn't provide any tutorial for complete kernel configuration.

Please, don't advise me to just use mainstream GNU/Linux distro. Majority of them are too bloated or relay on systemd.

Thanks for help :)

RE: Kernel configuration - Houseoftea - 14-08-2015

Hey there!

It's easy really, just set aside some time and when you hover over any option and press h it will display a paragraph or so about what exactly this is and if you can safely remove it.

Usually it will even say something like:
"If you don't know what to do say y here"

Some things you can obviously get rid of, like support for alternative filesystems or esoteric network protocols.

I'm not an advanced user and I can do it, I'm positive you can too!

Just take your time :)

Oh and also!
Two things there is something called genkernel and a command make defconfig

I don't have experience with genkernel but I think that it generates a kernel fit to your hardware.

Make defconfig makes the default configuration that should work for pretty much every 64 bit computer

RE: Kernel configuration - xero - 14-08-2015

i'm the same boat, archer tired of/frustrated by systemd, looking for something more challenging.

i asked about CRUX on irc, and users told me that their first experience w/ compiling a custom kernel was when they started using CRUX. so assume it's just part of the learning curve.

i need to stop being lazy and give CRUX a try as well.

also based on my research funtoo > gentoo.

RE: Kernel configuration - Malakian - 14-08-2015

Thanks for reply. I will check out your advices!

That's good to hear. At first I thought I wasn't expirenced in Linux enough, but now, thanks to your posts I'll try again.
Also, could you explain a little further about funtoo's advantages over gentoo?

RE: Kernel configuration - Houseoftea - 14-08-2015

Would be interested to hear funtoo vs gentoo also
As far as I knew they were superficial, things like using git and stiff like that

RE: Kernel configuration - xero - 14-08-2015

(14-08-2015, 12:28 PM)Malakian Wrote: ...could you explain a little further about funtoo's advantages over gentoo?

"funtoo is gentoo improved and fun too!"

- does *NOT* use systemd
- git repos (git pull is faster than svn/rsync)
- has all of gentoo's packages + more
- automated kernel build options
- D Rob BDFL

RE: Kernel configuration - swathe - 14-08-2015

Hardware is so good these days I just be lazy and use genkernel to get a gentoo box up and running. You can always custom compile it later on.

RE: Kernel configuration - venam - 15-08-2015

Beware when compiling a custom kernel, do not forget to include any driver!
I tried once to compile a really lightweight and fast kernel.
There's that tool that I forgot the name that probes for modules when you connect all your devices and at the end prepares the kernel with only those.
Don't do that, it's a pain.

RE: Kernel configuration - zr0 - 15-08-2015

Hello, in my experience with CRUX its better cause i can setup my kernel the way i want it and as lite it can be, but i did have to learn more about my hardware and the drivers it use for Linux and were i can enable them so i know what to disable , so i recommend you to have 2 computers IF YOU HAVE THEM one so you can mess with the kernel try and error and other so you can search on internet, Not only you need drivers but you also need to configure more stuff so for example your Tux penguin will show on boot :D . This help me a lot on my CRUX journey and the Installation Document on the CRUX webpage

RE: Kernel configuration - apk - 15-08-2015

Just my input in regard to kernel compilation...

All I did when I was on CRUX was add support for ext4, my ethernet card, sound card, and framebuffer support for my graphics card and then it worked. I didn't change anything else. Like, switch 4 options and then thats it.

RE: Kernel configuration - ninjacharlie - 30-09-2015

Two things I'd recommend looking into:

1) Grab the current kernel config by running 'zcat /proc/config.gz > .config' and just place it in the kernel build directory.
2) Install OpenRC on ArchLinux (

RE: Kernel configuration - NetherOrb - 29-10-2016

Slightly off topic, why do so many dislike systemd? Ive come across many merely disliking it and not really giving any grounds of why. Ive read an Arch dev explaining why they use it and it seemed justified. And yes, I can google this topic, I was merely hoping to see what you all had to say.

RE: Kernel configuration - pranomostro - 29-10-2016

As I have understood, systemd is an init system that tends to integrate a lot
of functionality, while also being quite feature-rich. People criticize that it
swallows programs which were standalone before, and the tendency
of some programs to contain systemd-specific code, which makes them less
portable and forces the user into systemd.

Of course, there are binary logging formats, which I tend to find rather

I have had some negative experience with systemd, but I haven't had the
chance to compare it to any other init system. should give you a quick start if you want to learn more
about technical problems with systemd.

RE: Kernel configuration - NetherOrb - 30-10-2016

This was an older post on the topic.

Id say im a novice to Linux still so init systems in general are a haze. The most I know is what the Arch devs have written on it. So binary logging formats is arcane terminology. Which Ill look into...eventually.

First Ill journey into suckless's site.