Re: Kernel compilation - detecting hardware - in the box vs. out

From: slurper (
Date: 04/13/04

Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 22:31:52 +0200

all distro's have hardware detecting programs to know which modules should
be loaded. maybe, they can help.
but anyway, at a certain point, you have to know what's inside the machine
your administering and then you can choose:compile a custom kernel without
modules or load the module of your distro. the kernel options might be
overwhelming, but that's linux' strength also.

Adam wrote:

> I was thinking about compiling your own Linux kernel and the choices
> it gives you between compiling a feature into the kernel and compiling
> it as a module which gets loaded by hotplugging. The way I would like
> it to work for my system is the following:
> 1) If a driver is for a device that's inside my computer, I want it to
> be compiled directly into the kernel.
> 2) If a driver is for a device that normally goes inside your
> computer, but is not inside my computer, don't compile it at all.
> 3) If a driver is for an external device (such as a USB device),
> compile it as a module, whether the device is currently connected to
> the computer or not. This way any time someone wants to use a
> Linux-supported external device on my computer, they can do so without
> any configuration.
> Now, I could do all this manually (and indeed I have kind of done so).
> But it would be very convenient if there was some kind of hardware
> detection program or script to do it for me. Now, I've never written
> a hardware detecting program, so maybe such a program wouldn't be able
> to tell the difference between an internal and external device. If
> not, I think it would still be possible - there would just have to be
> a "database" somewhere of each kernel symbol and whether it's a symbol
> for an internal device, external, or neither.
> I know many distributions automatically detect your hardware during
> the installation process, but Mandrake, and I suspect most of the
> major distributions, already have a compiled kernel containing
> virtually every device you could possibly want to use compiled as a
> module. Basically, I don't need the modules for every sound card in
> existence on my computer. I think it would be much better if the
> installation process compiled a custom kernel during installation
> based on my hardware.
> Of course, this means that whenever I open up my computer and change
> something I'll have to do some re-compilation. That doesn't really
> bother me, though, and if the process was automated it wouldn't be
> much of a problem at all (heck, I bet it could detect at start-up
> whether the hardware in your computer has changed).
> Does anyone know of a program or script that already does something
> like this, or a distribution that already compiles a custom kernel
> based on the hardware of the computer it's being installed on?