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Thread: Compiling a small as possible linux kernel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Compiling a small as possible linux kernel

    Hi guys,

    i wanna ask you for help to compile a very tiny kernel. I'm currently having a task at school that dictates that I must compile a kernel without modules, that can boot and is less than 10mb big. I've tried a load of stuff but I tend to kill modules I need and forget to bake the important options in to the kernel.

    I don't need anything really but keyboard and a functioning terminal when I boot. Can someone clever please point me in the right direction?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Slovakia
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    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: Compiling a small as possible linux kernel

    Hello,

    I have always used kernel configs ( vanilla ) from webpage http://kernel-seeds.org .They are pretty tiny and always work for me .Please see howto first.Basically you just need to add your hardware and you are done.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Magic City of the Plains
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    Hidden!
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Compiling a small as possible linux kernel

    Not an Ubuntu support question; moved to Community Cafe.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    1,430
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Compiling a small as possible linux kernel

    How about taking a 2.4 kernel.
    I know. a bit old, but also very small.
    For example DamnSmallLinux (DSL) used it.
    kernel versions 2.6 and later are a lot bigger
    _______________
    - anaconda

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    5,990

    Re: Compiling a small as possible linux kernel

    Maybe have a look at Tiny Core Linux as it's only 8MB in size.
    http://distro.ibiblio.org/tinycorelinux/downloads.html

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Manchester
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    2,077
    Distro
    Ubuntu Studio 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: Compiling a small as possible linux kernel

    there is a
    Code:
    make modconfig
    that enables the module for every module reported by lsmod. so in theory if you boot a standard dristro kernel. plug in everything you need, and run that, the .config file will have everything you need enabled. you could then run
    Code:
    make menuconfig
    and change the Ms to Ys to get them built in.

    beware though. I was unable to get a radeon card working with it built in to the kernel. it needed to be a module, so that it could load the microcode/firmware for the card. (the other work around in this case was to disable radeon KMS).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Re: Compiling a small as possible linux kernel

    Hm, thanks for suggestions guys. Still having trouble making it work for some reason. Don't understand why tho, but I somehow manage to try and kill my init. That sucks, so kernel panick is my friend right now.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    British Columbia
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    Ubuntu Gnome 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: Compiling a small as possible linux kernel

    It sounds like this might be below your user level but I found this 3 part tutorial helpful in recompiling my Kernel (skipped the BFS & BFQ).

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