Advantages and Disadvantages of Customized Kernel

May 24, 2011 / Security and Privacy

You may have come across some system administrators saying that their web servers delivers high performance than others. The only reason behind this is that they have taken efforts in building their own kernel from source.

They might be using a Linux distribution that allows customized kernels. Probably, if you are having a dedicated server, running an operating system that utilizes a pre-rolled binary of the kernel, however, even those can also provide you the ability to customize your own kernel.

Advantages of Customizing Your Own Kernel:

  1. Whenever a program is customized for a specific architecture, usually the level of performance increases and becomes more stable version. Generic binaries need to function on various processors, which makes it inferior to your system.
  2. Another advantage is that you are able to eliminate the unnecessary modules and components from it. Removing excess modules and components will reduce the size of the compiled kernel and helps it to boot quickly.
  3. Building your own kernel allows you to add various features and optimize it for better performance.

Disadvantages of Customizing Your Own Kernel:

  1. When you build your own kernel, you need to maintain the updates, security patches.
  2. Its better to know how to customize the kernel, if you do things wrong, it could lead in stopping of the server.
  3. Possibly, customizing a kernel is very time consuming and can take a lot of time. Building a kernel requires good technical skills and knowledge as well as it consumes a lot of CPU power.

Consider the above discussed advantages and disadvantages and decide which kernel to choose for your dedicated server, pre-compiled or a customized one.

People using the customized kernels are satisfied with it and people using the ready kernels are pleased as well. Now, its up to you, which kernel is best for your server that will offer optimum performance.


  • Arjun Shinde

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