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I see that

$ du -h /boot/initrd-
3.9M     /boot/initrd-
$ du -h /boot/vmlinuz-
4.1M     /boot/vmlinuz-
$ du -sh /boot
17M      /boot

So why does the "kernel-default" package on SUSE Studio come with 114MB?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The main reason for the 114MB (openSUSE 12.1's kernel-default-3.1.0-1.2.1.x86_64.rpm (34MB)) is that the kernel modules that are included with the RPM are collectively quite large.

From the extracted RPM, as an example:

$ du -sh lib/modules/3.1.0-1.2-default/kernel/*
1.3M    lib/modules/3.1.0-1.2-default/kernel/arch
1004K   lib/modules/3.1.0-1.2-default/kernel/crypto
60K     lib/modules/3.1.0-1.2-default/kernel/Documentation
101M    lib/modules/3.1.0-1.2-default/kernel/drivers
13M     lib/modules/3.1.0-1.2-default/kernel/fs
32K     lib/modules/3.1.0-1.2-default/kernel/kernel
252K    lib/modules/3.1.0-1.2-default/kernel/lib
16K     lib/modules/3.1.0-1.2-default/kernel/mm
12M     lib/modules/3.1.0-1.2-default/kernel/net
72K     lib/modules/3.1.0-1.2-default/kernel/security
9.2M    lib/modules/3.1.0-1.2-default/kernel/sound

This shows there is approximately 101MB of drivers (which is essentially hardware enablement modules (USB, network cards, storage devices etc).

All kernels for modern distributions are going to have similar sized packages unless they split less common modules into sub-packages.

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