[lug] When to use a module?

Wayde Allen wallen at boulder.nist.gov
Mon Nov 8 11:57:23 MST 1999

On Mon, 8 Nov 1999, Stephen G. Smith wrote:

> When creating a new kernel, when is the right time to use
> a module or just add the support directly into the kernel?

If you need to have support for a piece of hardware required to run the
system (your hard drive for instance) that can, and perhaps even should,
be compiled directly into your kernel.  If you have a piece of hardware or
a service that you plan on using infrequently, or changing in the future
then installing it as a module is nice since you can load or unload the
module as needed.

Modules are nice since they make it possible to reconfigure your machine
easily without a re-compile.  If you are short on memory, this can be
especially nice since the base kernel plus active modules I believe are
always resident in memory.  If you aren't using some services these
modules can be dropped to give you more real memory.  Otherwise, I don't
think the answer is particularly cut and dried.

- Wayde
  (wallen at boulder.nist.gov)

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