Why Build?

If you obtain one of the typical Linux distributions, the odds are that you’ll have the ability to enable some routing functions without having to recompile. If routing is just one of the tasks for which you’ll be using Linux, using a pre-compiled kernel might be the best way to go. However, if you’re going to be doing routing only, you’ll also be saddled with many functions that increase the size of the kernel with functions that you don’t need—and don’t want—in a system dedicated only to routing functions.

For instance, most precompiled kernels come with support for sound, CSLIP, Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), RAID controllers, and other protocols and devices that you won’t need. (Very few routers have need of a sound card, for ...

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