View Full Version : Compiling a small as possible linux kernel

October 3rd, 2012, 06:51 PM
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? :-)


October 3rd, 2012, 08:35 PM

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.

October 3rd, 2012, 09:10 PM
Not an Ubuntu support question; moved to Community Cafe.

October 3rd, 2012, 09:44 PM
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

October 3rd, 2012, 10:18 PM
Maybe have a look at Tiny Core Linux as it's only 8MB in size.

October 4th, 2012, 01:50 PM
there is a

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

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).

October 6th, 2012, 04:28 PM
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.

XBMC old School
October 6th, 2012, 04:39 PM
It sounds like this might be below your user level but I found this 3 part tutorial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAo1QCQXODo)helpful in recompiling my Kernel (skipped the BFS & BFQ).