Is it possible to boot linux without a initrd.img ? I am planning to add default drivers as a part-of-kernel itself and avoid initrd completely.
What are the modules that should be made part-of-the-kernel instead of loadable modules ?
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It is, unless your root volume is on an LVM, on a dmcrypt partition, or otherwise requires commands to be run before it can be accessed.
I haven't used an initrd on my server in years. You need at a minimum these modules built in:
the modules that run the filesystem mounted on it
It's also a very good idea to build in your network card drivers as well.
I've found that
lsmod can help you here from your currently running kernel, look at what's there and use the make menuconfig search option before compiling to find where to enable the modules.