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Although I know how to recompile my kernel to enable a module I want, I'm curious to know how the default Linux kernel modules are chosen in a Linux distribution's kernel package.

Taking a comparison between the .config file of the Ubuntu linux-headers package and the Fedora kernel-devel package, I noticed that several modules are enabled in one distribution while not in the other.

1991c1884
< CONFIG_BLK_DEV_NVME_SCSI=y
---
> # CONFIG_BLK_DEV_NVME_SCSI is not set
1997,2002c1890,1893
< CONFIG_AD525X_DPOT=m
< CONFIG_AD525X_DPOT_I2C=m
< CONFIG_AD525X_DPOT_SPI=m
< CONFIG_DUMMY_IRQ=m
< CONFIG_IBM_ASM=m
< CONFIG_PHANTOM=m
---
> # CONFIG_AD525X_DPOT is not set
> # CONFIG_DUMMY_IRQ is not set
> # CONFIG_IBM_ASM is not set
> # CONFIG_PHANTOM is not set
2006c1897
< CONFIG_ICS932S401=m
---
> # CONFIG_ICS932S401 is not set

The difference between the two distributions suggest to me that the Linux kernel modules are specifically chosen to be enabled by the distribution's respective package maintainer.

Is my suspicion true? What decides whether a kernel module is approved for inclusion in the kernel package? If I want to suggest a particular module to be enabled by default in a Linux distribution kernel package, what is the general process for approval?

  • You need to consider that sometimes modules are statically enabled in the kernel of the different distros, so a distro can need more modules to be loaded than others. – Luciano Andress Martini May 24 '16 at 18:39
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    It's quite likely that various distributions don't coordinate on such topics, and they just happen to include whatever their kernel maintainers decided. Often this may be based on user reports or bugs about certain functionality not working and asking to include the module. – Cristian Măgherușan-Stanciu May 24 '16 at 20:47

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