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Thread: recompiling kernel, pros/cons

  1. #1
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    recompiling kernel, pros/cons

    I have an old 750 mgz dell pc, I installed FC6 on it and have been playing around. I'm toying with the idea of changing the kernal. From what i've read everywhere you usually would do this when you have newer hardware or unsupported devices.

    What I was wondering was what about the opposite? Would I notice any performance gains by recompiling a stripped down kernel with minimal options suited for my hardware. In other words no raid, sound, usb, or sata support. All things I know I won't use on this old box. Would stripping all the extra support for hardware I don't have make for a faster boot / faster system?

    Any advice would be much appriciated.

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    I'm not sure. How much memory do you have? I have a 750Mhz P3 with 512MB RAM and it works OK in GUI mode. I don't use it for desktop applications very much, so I wouldn't be much help on the overall performance.

    I wouldn't go through the exercise of doing a kernel recompilation unless you feel the system is genuinely slow and hampering your work.

    You'll also have to remember that a yum update (like up2date) could erase your efforts unless you exclude the kernel from the update list.

    You could do the recompilation as a learning exercise too.

    On my really slow systems, 300 MHz Celeron, 128MB RAM, I run in text mode (init level 3). It works OK for simple, automated disk to disk backups of my home server.

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    Thanks for the reply, I have 384 mb of memory, I plan on running a photo hosting website for me and a few of my friends (4 - 6 ppl) who I travel with. Once I get the hang of things i'll probably reformat and reinstall with striped down packages, for the first install I just took the defult settings and added on a bunch of packages to see how it would run fully loaded. It's not too bad speed wise but then again i'm not doing much on it but surfing the web right now. I'm sure the load will increase when I get a couple of people uploading photos and editing their html pages ect...

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    Personnaly I didn't notice any real speed difference but recompiling kernel allows me to activate the make cpu idle when idle wich help having it cool when not 100% used a therefore lowering the noise of fans and the power suplly (thermoregulated)....and reducing power consuption
    And while activating this then I purge all what is not necessary in my case!
    But to be honest if it wasn't to activate something I would not go through kernel recompilation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gehang View Post
    What I was wondering was what about the opposite? Would I notice any performance gains by recompiling a stripped down kernel with minimal options suited for my hardware. In other words no raid, sound, usb, or sata support. All things I know I won't use on this old box. Would stripping all the extra support for hardware I don't have make for a faster boot / faster system?
    Nope. Most kernels are modular so that it loads drivers as needed. Going monolithic route won't get you far unless you are talking about handheld/mobile stuff.

    Learning to work without Xserver will get you further than re-compiling your kernel everytime there is a new version.
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    Thanks for all the info. I'll stick to this kernel for the time being and when I get board in a few months I'll probably recompile just for fun!

    Everyone on here has been very helpfull.. i'm sure this won't be near the last you hear from me

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