Re: kernel config

Werner Almesberger (
Mon, 24 Jul 1995 11:26:29 +0200 (MET DST)

Albert Cahalan wrote:
> It seems that many people want to change the way the kernel is
> compiled, but nobody can find a good solution.

Well, there have been several approaches:
- file-based configuration (a la BSD)
- simple menu system (page/form-style)
- complex menu system (see

Each of them has its problems and it's particularly hard to beat a
shell script in terms of flexibility.

> A new config program _must_ be supported by Linus because anything
> else will not be kept in sync with the kernel.


> All the adjustable defines are kept in a database. Each define is
> classified with cross-references, dependencies, and options.

Wouldn't this duplicate quite some of make's functionality ?
Configuration header files aren't that bad, you just have do have
enough of them. I did this once for kconf, the predecessor of Scend,
and the concept didn't look too ugly.

> This is so that different config programs can have different menu
> systems, yet be (mostly) independent of the kernel version.

This is only necessary if there is a need to have different config
programs which are maintained in parallel by different people.

> This needs to be done in 1.3.x really soon.

I think the whole discussion and the first proposals started even
before 1.0, so there seems to be some reluctance to accept quick
fixes ...

- Werner

 / Werner Almesberger, DI-LRC,EPFL,CH /