[arch-dev-public] Trimming down our default kernel configuration

Thomas Bächler thomas at archlinux.org
Wed Mar 26 14:56:26 EDT 2014

Hello all,

it won't be too long until 3.14 is out and I want to address a topic
that has been bugging me for a while. Our kernel includes everything and
the kitchensink. I have no problem with delivering drivers that can be
built modular, but there are other things that have an unknown impact on

I want to trim our kernel down to what we actually support.

1) Once we agreed to disable one LSM, everyone else said "we can enable
LSM XYZ, too". And so we did. Right now, we enable SELinux, SMACK,
Tomoyo, AppArmor and Yama, although we don't support the userspace for
any of those.

I propose to drop all of them.

2) We patch our kernel to allow enabling CHECKPOINT_RESTORE without
enabling CONFIG_EXPERT. I have no idea what the impact of this option
is, other than that it was requested in order to support some tool that
can freeze and save single processes resume them later. I am generally
sceptical towards options that require CONFIG_EXPERT, so I propose
dropping this one, too.

3) We enable tons of debug options in the "Kernel Hacking" section, many
of which have a "small performance impact". I'd like to get rid of those
that we don't need (I didn't go through all of them yet).

What I'd like is a discussion where people suggest more things that
could or should be dropped, and tell me what is absolutely needed and
why. I hope that such a discussion makes it clearer to me how I should


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