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List Archive: gentoo-amd64
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To: gentoo-amd64@g.o
From: Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@...>
Subject: Re: modules
Date: Fri, 04 Nov 2005 06:49:31 -0700
DR GM SEDDON posted <436B56B2.10106@...>, excerpted below, 
on Fri, 04 Nov 2005 12:40:18 +0000:

> Hi,
> I was wondering.  What modules do I need installed at boot?
> My hardware is
> dvd/cd rewriter  ide
> 3.5" floppy
> scsi tape drive.  initio scsi  controller
> 125 mb ati radeon graphics
> 20" sgi monitor
> 3400+ cpu
> e2800+ cellular to attatch

You don't need to load /any/ modules at boot, if you compile everything
you'd normally load at boot and never unload, into the kernel itself,
instead of as modules.

Here, I do that, but compile stuff I use only occasionally, such as the
floppy, loopback device, and parallel port (printer, yes, I still use the
parallel port for that) drivers, and the msdos (floppy), iso9660 (CD/DVD),
and ext2 (floppy) filesystems (my system is reiserfs, no ext2 unless on a
floppy or filesystem image or something), as modules, so I can load them
if an when I need them but keep the kernel from using so much unswappable
memory when I don't.

You might as well compile anything directly into the kernel that you'll be
using enough so you'd be loading the modules at boot, anyway.  The
exception would be the few items of hardware with drivers that need
parameters fed to them when loaded to get things right.  These often need
compiled and loaded as modules, even if you /do/ load them at boot and
don't ever unload them, in ordered to feed them the correct parameters
when they load.

Thus, compiled into your kernel, you'll need the IDE main and your
specific chipset drivers (or scsi drivers if you use that instead of IDE),
the file system drivers for whatever file systems you normally use, the
HID input main and keyboard drivers, virtual terminal and console on
virtual terminal, agpgart, and probably your mouse and NIC drivers, plus
motherboard or installation specific stuff like the real-time-clock, usb
drivers, etc.

Depending on how you have video setup, you likely do NOT need any kernel
graphics card drivers beyond the normal VT/console drivers for text mode. 
For use within xorg, you'll load additional xorg or proprietary drivers.

Gentoo normally recommends you compile the sound (ALSA) drivers as
modules, but I compile them in, here, figuring I use them enough I don't
want to mess with loading them separately.  Obviously, that works best if
you use the kernel's own sound drivers, rather than merging the
alsa-drivers package separately, in which case modules are easier.

As mentioned above, I don't load iso9660 or msdos filesystems or the
floppy or loopback drivers built-in or at boot, because I don't use them
enough to warrant it.  If I need them, I load them, then unload them if
I'm not immediately rebooting.  The same here for the parallel port
drivers for the printer.

Something I HAVE found I have to compile and load as modules, are the USB
stuff. However, I don't have to list them in
/etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.6, because I have sys-apps/coldplug
merged and the initscript set to load as part of the boot level, and that
handles loading USB for me.  (It also handled loading the alsa/sound
modules, back when I had them compiled as modules.)

Other than that, I learned what I needed pretty much by going thru
the entire kernel config and turning on what I KNEW I needed, then
using trial and error on everything else, trying without it to see if
everything still worked and didn't complain, going back and turning it
back on if I found I needed it.  BIND, if you run it, turns out to need
something strange, that the kernel says is deprecated.  (Don't worry, tho,
enough folks run bind that deprecated or not, there WILL be a replacement
before the kernel folks can remove it for good.)  Other things you might
find you need as well.  No problem, just reboot to your old/backup if you
couldn't even boot the new kernel, turn on what you need and recompile and
reinstall the kernel, and try again.  It's tough learning it the first
time, but eventually you'll figure out what stuff you need and what most
stuff does, and be fairly familiar with kernel configuration.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman in

gentoo-amd64@g.o mailing list

Re: Re: modules
-- Steve Herber
Re: Re: modules
-- Sebastian Redl
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