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When using make oldconfig I usually look at new options briefly in case there's something important/useful.

However, on an existing system I couldn't care less about new device drivers for some hardware I obviously do not have. Is there a way to make make oldconfig skip all devices drivers?

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FYI, sometimes new drivers are for older hardware (e.g., someone will rewrite the driver for X). Or a driver is split, etc. – derobert Feb 22 '13 at 14:19

When you do make oldconfig is shows new options only. You could force everyhing new to No with yes n | make oldconfig, but some old configuration could have changed (it used to be yes/no, now there are several numerical options, ...). Better don't do that.

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Safer alternative: make olddefconfig. Instead of saying plain no to everything, it takes the default value. I still take the time of going through things manually. There are usually 2-3 interesting questions before it gets to the obscure device drivers, and for the rest you can just keep the <enter> key pressed. – frostschutz Feb 23 '13 at 13:01

There is make allnoconfig in the current kernel, see Documentation/kbuild/kconfig.txt .

Or, to work around the problem that some entries won't accept "N" you can allow for user input once it gets stuck on a question:

$ { while :; do
  for i in `seq 100`; do echo n; done; read n; echo $n; done } | make oldconfig

This returns input control to the user every 100 questions.

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