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I've been looking in my various Linux builds in those file:

  • /proc/config.gz
  • /boot/confi
  • /boot/config-$(uname -r)

And I'm noticing some major differences in number of active linux configs.

For example, in a default Debian image, I had:

Linux/x86 3.16.36 - 4462 kernel configurations set

In a Linode virtual machine, I have:

Linux/x86 4.5.5-x86_64-linode68 - 1479 kernel configurations set

I'm surprised to see that there are 3000 more kernel configurations on the default Debian one.

Is there a known minimal kernel configuration template somewhere ? Let's say for different usages, like a web server.

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I'm surprised to see that there are 3000 more kernel configurations on the default Debian one.

That's normal. There are about 3000 different drivers available for real hardware that make zero sense for a VM (until you want PCI (or even USB) passthrough, at least).

Is there a known minimal kernel configuration template somewhere ?

No. People's requirements vary too much. Distro maintainers will only be interested in supporting the shotgun approach, where everything that makes even remote sense to use is enabled. However, there are some tools that can help you roll your own minimal kernel config, see https://kernel.org/doc/Documentation/kbuild/kconfig.txt

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