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Re: Recompiling kernel broke my ppp

On Sat, 7 Dec 1996, Paul Christenson wrote:

> There is something that I've been wondering.. Why is everyone so
> fascinated with modules? I acknowledge that they have their uses, but
> how many people really need to UNLOAD a module once it's loaded?
> If you need it, compile it into the kernel, where it belongs. You'll
> find that there are a lot fewer problems if you do.

edwalter already brought up two good reasons. here's a third:

flexibility: you can compile a kernel with modules that you need plus
modules that you MIGHT need in the future. e.g. you have an ne2000
ethernet card now but you're planning to upgrade to a 3c509 in a few
weeks. compile a kernel with ne2000 and 3c509 modules and just use
whichever one you need at the time. You'll still have to reboot but only
because you cant swap the cards without powering down :-)

a more common scenario is wanting to give yourself the flexibility of
running samba or netatalk or ipx stuff later. You dont need it now
but as soon as you have time you'll get it working. If it's a module,
just load it and experiment without having to recompile the kernel and
without having to reboot.

and a fourth:

finding out where hardware lives without rebooting 50,000,000 times:
e.g. you have to convert an old 386 box with some sort of ethernet card
in it into a linux box router. of course, there is no documentation for
any of the hardware and the jumper settings on the card don't make any
sense to you at all. If you compile the ethernet card into the kernel
you have to edit /etc/lilo.conf, run lilo & reboot every time you try
a new io port address and irq. With modules, you just keep on running
modprobe or insmod commands from the shell prompt until the module
loads successfully, make a note of the settings that worked, and edit
/etc/modules or /etc/conf.modules to make those settings the defaults
for that module. 5 minutes work rather than 1+ hours.

this is particularly obvious when you are installing two or more
ethernet cards in a machine (quite common for a router or firewall box).
It's so much easier doing it with modules that i wouldn't even consider
doing it any other way.

BUT, no matter what hardware you've got and no matter how well the
standard debian kernel works for you, it is a very good idea to compile
your own kernel as soon as possible.  Why waste memory on unneeded
drivers?  Also, many drivers add a couple of minutes to booting time while
they probe for non-existant hardware.  The standard debian kernel is a
"one-size-fits-all" affair.  Roll your own to suit your own hardware as
soon as possible. 


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