Reducing the need to compile a custom kernel

Scott, Brian brian.scott4 at
Wed Feb 15 00:41:06 UTC 2012

>>  - CPU_SOEKRIS, CPU_GEODE, CPU_ELAN, NO_SWAPPING for embedded devices
>Embedded devices are out of the scope of this, normally you do a lot of
other modifictions to such systems anyway, so a custom kernel should be
not a >big problem.

Just as a quick data point here, I have just installed FreeBSD onto an
ALIX system and was hoping to keep everything very standard.

Turns out that I needed to rebuild the kernel to add CPU_GEODE to get a
few simple features added. Everything else is standard GENERIC because
I'm too lazy to fine tune. The geode code is very small and I would
expect completely harmless if left enabled in GENERIC. The overhead of
including it for other systems would be a few extra compares during
startup and a k or so extra size in the kernel.

I would suggest that avoiding custom kernels to make trivial changes is
exactly what you should be looking at. Make features like this removable
for the people who want to fine tune their kernels but include for
people who are happy to have a little overhead as a trade of for ease of

The only other thing that regularly has me running custom kernels is
IPFIREWALL_FORWARD. As others have said, I'd be very happy if that was
the default but removable.

Brian Scott
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