One of the unexpected side benefits of owning a 100Mhz machine with only 16Mb of memory is that it is forcing me to carve away at parts of the system I hadn’t previously considered prunable.
Case in point, my previously published instructions for a slimmer kernel for Crux, which I’ve used as more or less a basic starting point for every kernel I’ve customized since 188.8.131.52. Those are decent instructions, and the kernels are quicker, but I’m realizing now that there’s still quite a bit of stuff left that my needs don’t require.
So there was the first “error,” in not recognizing parts of the kernel that I have spent time compiling, only to realize at this late date, months later, that they were completely unnecessary — or worse, completely unapplicable — to my desktop applications. Things like network protocols specific to routers, or hardware drivers that didn’t apply to my system after all.
And that’s okay; this is all a learning process, and it’s one of the reasons I do it. I enjoy learning.
But carving away too much was the obvious second “error,” which I committed when I disabled tmpfs thinking I didn’t need it, thereby chopping udev off at the knees, and rendering my system unbootable. And since the two things — udev and tmpfs — don’t always show up at the same party with each other, discovering the relationship between them was a bit difficult.
Eventually I found a post somewhere on a Slackware mailing list back in 2003 or so that mentioned udev and tmpfs in the same breath, and one quick recompile and I was back in business.
That’s the way these things work, and why it’s always best to tinker with an old leftover machine, and not with your mission-critical one. Mistakes will happen, and nobody learns anything unless they make a mistake, but the time it takes you to find your mistake and correct it … well, that’s the frustrating part.
P.S.: My Inspiron boots to the console login in 8 seconds now. …😈