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Chapter 5. Configuring the FreeBSD Kernel

Table of Contents
5.1. Why Build a Custom Kernel?
5.2. Building and Installing a Custom Kernel
5.3. The Configuration File
5.4. Making Device Nodes
5.5. If Something Goes Wrong

Contributed by Jake Hamby . 6 October 1995.

This large section of the handbook discusses the basics of building your own custom kernel for FreeBSD. This section is appropriate for both novice system administrators and those with advanced Unix experience.

5.1. Why Build a Custom Kernel?

Building a custom kernel is one of the most important rites of passage every Unix system administrator must endure. This process, while time-consuming, will provide many benefits to your FreeBSD system. Unlike the GENERIC kernel, which must support every possible SCSI and network card, along with tons of other rarely used hardware support, a custom kernel only contains support for your PC's hardware. This has a number of benefits: