Kernel options optimal for desktop?

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Sun Nov 27 01:12:40 GMT 2005

Alexander Polakov wrote:
> Good time of day to all freebsd-questions readers!
> I'm using FreeBSD 6.0 for my desktop. I think the GENERIC kernel
> is not optimal for desktop usage. So can you advise me what options
> to use for better performance?
> My hardware is a Pentium 3 processor at i815EP chipset, 512 Mb RAM, 
> ATA100 30 GB HDD, GeForce2 MX400 video. 

Read the kernel section of the handbook.

Read "man tuning" and "man make.conf", but for a simple beginning, figure out 
what tasks you want to benchmark (see "ls /usr/ports/benchmarks"), and get a 
baseline with the GENERIC kernel.  Then you want to set CPUTYPE, disable the 
"cpu I486_CPU" and "cpu I586_CPU" statements, and maybe disable drivers you 
don't need, IPv6 (aka "options INET6"), etc.

Be prepared to roll back to a working kernel if you change too much.
Benchmark some more, and see whether you find anything interesting.
Be prepared to have someone tell you to run /usr/src/tools/tools/ministat.  :-)


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