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I was reading the Debian handbook here, and it says:

"When recompiling a more recent version of the kernel ... the configuration will most likely be kept as close as possible to that proposed by Debian. In this case, and rather than reconfiguring everything from scratch, it is sufficient to copy the /boot/config-version file (the version is that of the kernel currently used, which can be found with the uname -r command) into a .config file in the directory containing the kernel sources."

Four paragraphs later, it also says:

"it is always a good idea to start from a reasonable default configuration. The kernel provides such configurations in arch/arch/configs/*_defconfig and you can put your selected configuration in place with a command like make x86_64_defconfig (in the case of a 64-bit PC)"

What is the difference? Which is the best to use? Should I grab the .config from /boot/config-(currentversion) or just run "make x86_64_defconfig" to create the .config?

I plan on changing the options manually, but I'd like to start from the existing kernel's configuration as originally offered by the distro.

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I also compile my own kernel (on Debian), and I ended up just running make gconfig with no .config in the directory (so it uses whatever the defaults are for Debian I think) the first time. I then tweaked it (deselected a bunch of irrelevant modules and so on) and now I have a much leaner kernel (haven't stopped tweaking it!).

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