ideas 3

Chris Palmer chris at
Wed Aug 11 11:21:09 PDT 2004

Ed writes:

> What about creating a few kernel config files for common systems ?
> NetBSD does something like that with GENERIC, LAPTOP, SMALL,...

I much prefer the OpenBSD approach. OpenBSD ships GENERIC only (although
there are alternate config files present in the source distribution).
The GENERIC kernel contains all the hardware drivers and other features
that the developers feel are stable, and as a result the GENERIC kernel
works properly on most machines. Every so often somebody will want
AppleTalk or an experimental hardware driver, and so they have to make
their own kernel. This is a rare occurence.

This reduces the support burden on the developers/user community, and
reduces the work users have to do to get a working system. The only cost
is that the kernel is somewhat larger than strictly necessary, but it's
hard to demonstrate that that is the limiting factor in performance.

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