[lug] When to use a module?

Pedersen, Michael J PederMJ at LOUISVILLE.STORTEK.COM
Mon Nov 8 11:46:43 MST 1999

That's almost entirely a judgment call.  However, a module is generally used
for something that is infrequently used, though necessary to have.

For example, when I had a dual boot Linux/Windows 95 system, I wanted the
linux partition to be able to read the Win95 hard drives.   Normally, Linux
would not read them, and only go to them under certain circumstances (ie: I
had a file in Windows that I needed under Linux for some reason). For those
circumstances, I set the vfat filesystem to be a module.

I'm not always dialed up to the internet, and, for a while, was using a DSL
line (sigh, I miss those days).  PPP support was only necessary on occasion
then (rarely, actually), and now is back to a common, but not all the time,
need.  As such, PPP support is a module for me.

Printer support is almost never needed for me.  It's a module as well.

Support for serial ports is compiled in directly.  I'm using a serial mouse
all the time, almost, so it's better there. Support for ext2 file system is
also built in, since that's my root filesystem.

Basic rules, though:
1) If you use it all the time (ie: Your computer doesn't work right without
it), build it in.
2) If you use it most of the time, it's worth building in.
3) If you use it infrequently, but still have a valid need for it (ie: vfat
filesystem), make it a module.
4) And, of course, if you never use it (Sorry, no use for Sun hard drives
yet), don't compile it at all.

One exception to the rule would be a sound card: If you want to change the
irq (or other settings) without re-compiling everything, make it a module.
Of course, that could also fall under the "infrequent use category," too.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Stephen G. Smith [mailto:stephens at nsrfc.com]
> Sent: Monday, November 08, 1999 11:40 AM
> To: 'lug at lug.boulder.co.us'
> Cc: 'nslug at nclug.org'
> Subject: [lug] When to use a module?
> When creating a new kernel, when is the right time to use
> a module or just add the support directly into the kernel?
> _______________________________________________
> Web Page:  http://lug.boulder.co.us
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