I'm not surprised that you are wondering why modules are useful. Most
of the reason of that is that the Linux distributions have not caught
up with what they can do. That's including Debian.
It's now possible to build a kernel with little more than the ramdisk
and console drivers and load everything else including the driver for
the root disk from a module (see the initrd documentation). That means
that the user can put together an efficient kernel without
recompiling. I wanted to have this for 1.2, but it'll have to wait for
1.3 . Not having to recompile the kernel is a big ease-of-use issue.
Also, with "kerneld" you actually do unload modules when you are
finished using them.
Unloading modules is a nice feature because drivers and the rest of the
kernel live in locked-down (rather than virtual) memory. It's nice to
be able to re-use that memory.
Bruce Perens K6BP Bruce@Pixar.com
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