Compiling a kernel takes some time, therefore I would like to do it on a VPS. The problem is that altough the processing is not an issue with the plan, the disk space is limited. From past attemps some time ago I remember that the uncompressed source was around 500MB and after the size after the compilation is completed (before packaging) was about 13GB. Is the final size also equal to the peak size? In other words does the process require more disk space than the final size? (Please correct me if these numbers are inaccurate).

Provided that the disk space is insufficient, is there any approach you can recommend?

Is is possible to reduce the storage demand of kernel compilation? (I have read about disabling debug messages, if it is still relevant). If so how much improvement can be expected?

Can I split the compilation into segments and transfer some of the data back to my computer without altering the dependencies? I have a modest internet connection and have just about 13GB free storage on the VPS, so I would like to avoid large data transfer.


A 500MB kernel grows to about 4GB.

Once installed do a make clean to get back to the original 500MB.

  • 1
    How would make clean help the user actually compile a kernel on a system without the space required to finish compilation?
    – Kusalananda
    Dec 30 '19 at 7:36
  • the point was that the numbers were innacurate, the user did not say he ran out of disk space, he said he was worried he didn't have enough. you may need 30GB to compile clang but 4-5 is fine for a 500MB kernel source. but as he is worried about diskspace, make clean will help him AFTERWARDS.
    – robert
    Feb 5 '20 at 22:52

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