kernel config howto

Richard Lightman richard at
Sat Oct 26 14:13:58 PDT 2002

* Ken Dyke <ken_i_m at> [2002-10-26 21:34]:
> Hi,
> There is a thread in lfs-support where a newbie used the default
> settings and the result failed to boot (surprise :-O).  Every kernel
> config howto I have read always goes something like:
> blah
> make menuconfig
> because of lack space needed to walk through this, you are on your own
> make dep
> [...]
> To my way of thinking, the time to figure out what config options are
> needed is before 'make menuconfig'.  A start would be a hardware
> checklist, support of foo options, [other examples here].  The result
> would be an easy to read file that serves as a companion for walking
> through the menuconfig process.
> Is there such a HOWTO?
In short, AFAICT no. I just grepped them all:

Hundreds contain a bit about configuring some small part of the kernel.

The Config-HOWTO explains how to configure hundred of things, and
mentions the kernel.

The Kernel-HOWTO does contain a whole chapter on configuration. This
looks like a very good introduction to what a kernel is for, but if
you are prepared to build an LFS system, you are probably looking for

I learned by going through 'make menuconfig' and read all the help
for each thing that I did not recognise. It can be more convenient
to just read /usr/src/linux/Documentation/ and skip
over 50 sound/network/scsi/graphics cards you are never going to use.
Many of the entries point at other files in the Documentation
directory that have a fuller explanations.

If that is not enough, go to HOWTO-INDEX, and pick the one on the
topic you are having trouble with.

To get a clue about what hardware you've got, cat /proc/pci

If you plan to make a Kernel-Configuration-HOWTO, good luck trying to
keep it up to date ;-).

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