At one time, this would have been one of the most important chapters in the book. Knowing how to configure and recompile a kernel was a vital skill in the earlier years of Linux. This has changed for various reasons. The kernel is modular and vendors such as SUSE provide a kernel with virtually anything that you might need available as a module. This means that it is very unlikely that you will need to reconfigure and recompile to get support for some particular device; the support will already be there in the form of a loadable module. In most circumstances, SUSE will be unwilling to support you if you are not running the shipped kernel binaries.
Also, the relationship between the size of the kernel and the amount of memory on a system has changed beyond all recognition; the kernel has
IN THIS CHAPTER
SUSE kernels and vanilla kernels
Configuring and building the kernel
Kernel parameters The initial ramdisk grown over the years, but average amounts of memory have rocketed. This means that the old motivation for creating a minimal, monolithic kernel supporting your hardware (which used to be a common practice) is no longer a factor.
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