Should I compile my own kernel? - BSD

This is a discussion on Should I compile my own kernel? - BSD ; I just installed FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE for amd64. Its mostly going to be used as a server for my hobby projects, so the load will probably be low for a long time. My question is, should I bother with rebuilding my ...

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  1. Should I compile my own kernel?

    I just installed FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE for amd64. Its mostly going to be
    used as a server for my hobby projects, so the load will probably be low
    for a long time.

    My question is, should I bother with rebuilding my kernel? Will I get a
    noticeable improvement (in either performance or features) if I spend
    the time and effort to configure it exactly for my needs? Disk space
    and memory are not a concern (160GB and 2GB respectively), and my
    network will probably be more constrained by my consumer grade broadband.

    Thanks for the advice,
    Daniel.
    --
    Daniel Pitts' Tech Blog:

  2. Re: Should I compile my own kernel?

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
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    On 2008-05-04, Daniel Pitts wrote:
    > I just installed FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE for amd64. Its mostly going to be
    > used as a server for my hobby projects, so the load will probably be low
    > for a long time.
    >
    > My question is, should I bother with rebuilding my kernel? Will I get a
    > noticeable improvement (in either performance or features) if I spend
    > the time and effort to configure it exactly for my needs? Disk space
    > and memory are not a concern (160GB and 2GB respectively), and my
    > network will probably be more constrained by my consumer grade broadband.


    Personally, I always roll my own kernels. The default kernel has a bunch
    of modules compiled in that you'll never use (firewire, network
    interfaces, peripherals, etc.) so, at the very least, you're going to
    reduce the kernel's memory footprint.

    - --
    Russell Wood

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  3. Re: Should I compile my own kernel?

    * Russell Wood :
    >
    > On 2008-05-04, Daniel Pitts wrote:
    > > I just installed FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE for amd64. Its mostly going to be
    > > used as a server for my hobby projects, so the load will probably be low
    > > for a long time.
    > >
    > > My question is, should I bother with rebuilding my kernel? Will I get a
    > > noticeable improvement (in either performance or features) if I spend
    > > the time and effort to configure it exactly for my needs? Disk space
    > > and memory are not a concern (160GB and 2GB respectively), and my
    > > network will probably be more constrained by my consumer grade broadband.

    >
    > Personally, I always roll my own kernels. The default kernel has a bunch
    > of modules compiled in that you'll never use (firewire, network
    > interfaces, peripherals, etc.) so, at the very least, you're going to
    > reduce the kernel's memory footprint.
    >


    I append a few non-standard devices which I require to the GENERIC kernel
    and call it done. Yes, you can reduce your kernel's footprint by removing
    all the options / devices you that don't currently need. But I find it more
    convenient to have things just work when I start swapping around hardware.

    Just another perspective.

    --
    Kelly D. Grills
    kdgrills@the-grills.com


  4. Re: Should I compile my own kernel?

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    On 2008-05-06, Kelly D. Grills wrote:
    > * Russell Wood :
    >>
    >> On 2008-05-04, Daniel Pitts wrote:
    >> > I just installed FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE for amd64. Its mostly going to be
    >> > used as a server for my hobby projects, so the load will probably be low
    >> > for a long time.
    >> >
    >> > My question is, should I bother with rebuilding my kernel? Will I get a
    >> > noticeable improvement (in either performance or features) if I spend
    >> > the time and effort to configure it exactly for my needs? Disk space
    >> > and memory are not a concern (160GB and 2GB respectively), and my
    >> > network will probably be more constrained by my consumer grade broadband.

    >>
    >> Personally, I always roll my own kernels. The default kernel has a bunch
    >> of modules compiled in that you'll never use (firewire, network
    >> interfaces, peripherals, etc.) so, at the very least, you're going to
    >> reduce the kernel's memory footprint.
    >>

    >
    > I append a few non-standard devices which I require to the GENERIC kernel
    > and call it done. Yes, you can reduce your kernel's footprint by removing
    > all the options / devices you that don't currently need. But I find it more
    > convenient to have things just work when I start swapping around hardware.


    Absolutely. If the box is used as a crash and burn with different
    hardware being connected, then by all means having a kernel that detects
    what you've connected without intervention is the way to go. Otherwise
    `kldload' is your friend.

    - --
    Russell Wood

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  5. Re: Should I compile my own kernel?

    In our last episode, <481d86b2$0$22575$7836cce5@newsrazor.net>, the lovely
    and talented Daniel Pitts broadcast on comp.unix.bsd.freebsd.misc:

    > I just installed FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE for amd64. Its mostly going to be
    > used as a server for my hobby projects, so the load will probably be low
    > for a long time.


    > My question is, should I bother with rebuilding my kernel? Will I get a
    > noticeable improvement (in either performance or features) if I spend
    > the time and effort to configure it exactly for my needs? Disk space
    > and memory are not a concern (160GB and 2GB respectively), and my
    > network will probably be more constrained by my consumer grade broadband.


    If memory is not an issue (as it obviously isn't in your case) and you don't
    hav special requirements for removal or inclusion of particular modules
    (hplip comes to mind), the generic kernel is probably your best bet.
    Several of my rescue missions have been considerably simplified by having a
    disk that will boot and run basic services on just about any box I stick it
    in. If you're never going to open the case and have a very high load on the
    machine, perhaps shaving the useless stuff off the kernel will have some
    marginal utility.

    --
    Lars Eighner usenet@larseighner.com
    Countdown: 259 days to go.

  6. Re: Should I compile my own kernel?

    On 2008-05-06, Kelly D. Grills wrote:
    > * Russell Wood :
    >>
    >> On 2008-05-04, Daniel Pitts wrote:
    >> > I just installed FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE for amd64. Its mostly going to be
    >> > used as a server for my hobby projects, so the load will probably be low
    >> > for a long time.
    >> >
    >> > My question is, should I bother with rebuilding my kernel? Will I get a
    >> > noticeable improvement (in either performance or features) if I spend
    >> > the time and effort to configure it exactly for my needs? Disk space
    >> > and memory are not a concern (160GB and 2GB respectively), and my
    >> > network will probably be more constrained by my consumer grade broadband.

    >>
    >> Personally, I always roll my own kernels. The default kernel has a bunch
    >> of modules compiled in that you'll never use (firewire, network
    >> interfaces, peripherals, etc.) so, at the very least, you're going to
    >> reduce the kernel's memory footprint.
    >>

    >
    > I append a few non-standard devices which I require to the GENERIC kernel
    > and call it done. Yes, you can reduce your kernel's footprint by removing
    > all the options / devices you that don't currently need. But I find it more
    > convenient to have things just work when I start swapping around hardware.
    >

    Well, building a custom kernel does not mean, you have to get rid off
    the GENERIC one. It will be preserved as kernel.old during the
    installkernel target. I personally prefer to move that to kernel.GENERIC
    for safekeeping.

    --
    Piotr Smyrak

  7. Re: Should I compile my own kernel?

    On Thu, 15 May 2008 20:17:56 +0000 (UTC), Piotr Smyrak wrote:
    >> I append a few non-standard devices which I require to the GENERIC
    >> kernel and call it done. Yes, you can reduce your kernel's footprint
    >> by removing all the options / devices you that don't currently
    >> need. But I find it more convenient to have things just work when I
    >> start swapping around hardware.

    >
    > Well, building a custom kernel does not mean, you have to get rid off
    > the GENERIC one. It will be preserved as kernel.old during the
    > installkernel target. I personally prefer to move that to
    > kernel.GENERIC for safekeeping.


    That's a fairly good point. I sometimes keep more kernels around. It's
    easy to copy the entire kernel directory with:

    # cd /boot
    # cp -Rp kernel kernel.safe

    Then if one of the installkernel runs results in a bit of instability,
    the boot loader can load the 'safe' kernel with:

    OK unload
    OK set module_path="/boot/kernel.safe"
    OK load kernel
    OK boot -s

    This has saved me from stupid mistakes I've done many many times


  8. Re: Should I compile my own kernel?

    * Giorgos Keramidas :
    > On Thu, 15 May 2008 20:17:56 +0000 (UTC), Piotr Smyrak wrote:
    > >
    > > Well, building a custom kernel does not mean, you have to get rid off
    > > the GENERIC one. It will be preserved as kernel.old during the
    > > installkernel target. I personally prefer to move that to
    > > kernel.GENERIC for safekeeping.

    >
    > That's a fairly good point. I sometimes keep more kernels around. It's
    > easy to copy the entire kernel directory with:
    >
    > # cd /boot
    > # cp -Rp kernel kernel.safe


    Some may call me overly cautious, but I do the same with every kernel build.
    I'm tracking RELENG_7_0 on all my machines now, I suppose I can safely rm all
    my Release 6 kernels now :-)

    > Then if one of the installkernel runs results in a bit of instability,
    > the boot loader can load the 'safe' kernel with:
    >
    > OK unload
    > OK set module_path="/boot/kernel.safe"
    > OK load kernel
    > OK boot -s
    >
    > This has saved me from stupid mistakes I've done many many times


    Glad I've never done such a thing ;-)

    --
    Kelly D. Grills
    kdgrills@the-grills.com


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