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    Subject[PATCH] Compress kernel modules on installation.

    (I've sent this to the linux-kbuild and linux-kernel lists as this
    patch modifies the Makefile.modinst file. I also don't subscribe to the
    linux-kbuild and linux-kernel mailing lists so can I have any replies
    CC'ed to me please)

    This patch allows kernel modules to be compressed when 'make
    modules_install' is run after being copied to
    the /lib/module/<version>/<...> directory which is useful if you have
    module-init-tools installed with --enable-zlib. This patch adds an
    option (MODULE_COMPRESS) to the kernel configuration file (specifically
    init/Kconfig) so that the kernel modules will compressed if

    When MODULE_COMPRESS is set the output of 'make modules_install' will
    go as the following:

    INSTALL  drivers/fs/xfs/xfs.ko
    COMPRESS drivers/fs/xfs/xfs.ko
    INSTALL  drivers/fs/fat/fat.ko
    COMPRESS drivers/fs/fat/fat.ko

    I've tested my patch on kernel versions, 2.6.24-git12, and
    2.6.19 and they compile, install and compress into the respective
    module directories without any errors.

    I've also tested this with the uvcvideo (linux-uvc) kernel module (from
    the SVN branch and with kernel versions, 2.6.24-git12, and
    2.6.19) as that uses Kbuild properly when installing the module and
    after installing the uvcvideo the module is then compressed.
    Unfortunately, I couldn't find any other kernel modules which used the
    Kbuild system for installing their kernel modules. :(

    I've included include/config/auto.conf in Makefile.modinst so that it
    can check if MODULE_COMPRESS is set when installing the kernel modules.

    Unfortunately when I ran mkinitrd (CentOS version) to create the initrd
    image to go with the kernel, I get errors saying that certain kernel
    modules don't exist despite the fact they do actually exist. When I
    pass --allow-missing to mkinitrd, it seems to go fine but when booting
    up with the system with the new initrd image I get error messages
    saying that the modules don't exist.

    A workaround is to compile the modules, don't have MODULE_COMPRESS set
    in .config, install the modules, run mkinitrd and copy it to /boot, set
    MODULE_COMPRESS in .config and then install the modules again but

    That's about it really. The only showstopper I feel is mkinitrd not
    working properly with the compressed kernel modules.



    Signed-off-by: Steve Brokenshire <>

    diff -u -r -up a/init/Kconfig b/init/Kconfig
    --- a/init/Kconfig 2008-02-02 16:34:29.000000000 +0000
    +++ b/init/Kconfig 2008-02-03 09:55:52.000000000 +0000
    @@ -725,6 +725,30 @@ config MODULE_FORCE_UNLOAD
    rmmod). This is mainly for kernel developers and desperate users.
    If unsure, say N.

    + bool "Compress kernel modules on installation"
    + depends on MODULES
    + help
    + This option compresses the kernel modules when 'make
    + modules_install' is run.
    + The modules will be compressed into the gzip (GNU zip) format
    + and will use less space than an uncompressed kernel module would.
    + When a kernel module is installed from outside of the main kernel
    + source and uses the Kbuild system for installing modules then that
    + kernel module will also be compressed when it is installed.
    + When running mkinitrd you will find that an error message
    + appears saying that it cannot find a certain kernel module.
    + As a workaround, unset CONFIG_MODULE_COMPRESS, build the modules
    + and install them, run mkinitrd and create the initrd image, place
    + the initrd image in the correct place for booting, set
    + CONFIG_MODULE_COMPRESS and then install the modules again.
    + This options requires the module-init-tools package to be
    + configured with --enable-zlib.
    config MODVERSIONS
    bool "Module versioning support"
    depends on MODULES
    diff -u -r -up a/scripts/Makefile.modinst b/scripts/Makefile.modinst
    --- a/scripts/Makefile.modinst 2008-02-02 16:34:33.000000000 +0000
    +++ b/scripts/Makefile.modinst 2008-02-02 17:21:46.000000000 +0000
    @@ -5,6 +5,7 @@
    PHONY := __modinst

    +include include/config/auto.conf
    include scripts/Kbuild.include

    @@ -16,8 +17,15 @@ PHONY += $(modules)
    __modinst: $(modules)

    -quiet_cmd_modules_install = INSTALL $@
    - cmd_modules_install = mkdir -p $(2); cp $@ $(2) ; $(mod_strip_cmd) $(2)/$(notdir $@)
    +quiet_cmd_modules_install = INSTALL $@
    + cmd_modules_install = mkdir -p $(2); \
    + cp $@ $(2) ; \
    + $(mod_strip_cmd) $(2)/$(notdir $@)
    +quiet_cmd_modules_compress = COMPRESS $@
    + cmd_modules_compress = gzip --best -c $(2)/`basename $@` \
    + > $(2)/`basename $@`.gz; \
    + rm $(2)/`basename $@`

    # Modules built outside the kernel source tree go into extra by default
    INSTALL_MOD_DIR ?= extra
    @@ -27,7 +35,8 @@ modinst_dir = $(if $(KBUILD_EXTMOD),$(ex

    $(call cmd,modules_install,$(MODLIB)/$(modinst_dir))
    + $(call cmd,modules_compress,$(MODLIB)/$(modinst_dir)))

    # Declare the contents of the .PHONY variable as phony. We keep that
    # information in a variable se we can use it in if_changed and friends.
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      Last update: 2008-02-25 22:59    [W:0.028 / U:3.752 seconds]
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