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config - kernel configuration file format


Lexical Structure
Configuration Directives
Obsolete Directives
See Also


A kernel configuration file specifies the configuration of a
.Fx kernel. It is processed by config(8) to create a build environment where a kernel may be built using make(1).

Lexical Structure

A kernel configuration file comprises a sequence of specification directives.

A specification directive starts with a keyword at the beginning of the line and is followed by additional parameters.

A specification directive may be terminated by a semicolon ‘;’ or by a newline. Long input lines may be broken into shorter lines by starting the second and subsequent lines with a white space character.

Case is significant, "machine" and "MACHINE" are different tokens.

A double quote character ‘[dq]’ starts a quoted string. All characters up to the next quote character form the value of the quoted string. A ‘[dq]’ character may be inserted into a quoted string by using the sequence ‘\[dq]’.

Numbers are specified using C -style syntax.

A ‘#’ character starts a comment; all characters from the ‘#’ character till the end of the current line are ignored.

Whitespace between tokens is ignored, except inside quoted strings. Whitespace following a comment line is ignored.

Configuration Directives

Kernel configuration directives may appear in any order in a kernel configuration file. Directives are processed in order of appearance with subsequent directive lines overriding the effect of prior ones.

The list of keywords and their meanings are as follows:

cpu cputype
Specify the CPU this kernel will run on. There can be more than one cpu directive in a configuration file. The allowed list of CPU names is architecture specific and is defined in the file sys/conf/options.<arch>.
device name [,name [...]]
devices name [,name [...]]
Configures the specified devices for inclusion into the kernel image. Devices that are common to all architectures are defined in the file sys/conf/files. Devices that are specific to architecture arch are defined in the file sys/conf/files.<arch>.
env filename
Specifies a filename containing a kernel environment definition. The kernel normally uses an environment prepared for it at boot time by loader(8). This directive makes the kernel ignore the boot environment and use the compiled-in environment instead.

This directive is useful for setting kernel tunables in embedded environments that do not start from loader(8).

files filename
Specifies a file containing a list of files specific to that kernel configuration file (a la files.<arch>).
hints filename
Specifies a file to load a static device configuration specification from. From
.Fx 5.0 onwards, the kernel reads the system’s device configuration at boot time (see device.hints(5)). This directive configures the kernel to use the static device configuration listed in filename. The file filename must conform to the syntax specified by device.hints(5).
ident name
Set the kernel name to name. At least one ident directive is required.
include filename
Read subsequent text from file filename and return to the current file after filename is successfully processed.
machine arch
Specifies the architecture of the machine the kernel is being compiled for. Legal values for arch include:

alpha The DEC Alpha architecture.
amd64 The AMD x86-64 architecture.
i386 The Intel x86 based PC architecture.
ia64 The Intel IA64 architecture.
pc98 The PC98 architecture.
powerpc The IBM PowerPC architecture.
sparc64 The Sun Sparc64 architecture.

A kernel configuration file may have only one machine directive.

makeoptions options
Add options to the generated makefile.

The options argument is a comma separated list of one or more option specifications. Each option specification has the form

and results in the appropriate make(1) variable definition being inserted into the generated makefile. If only the name of the make(1) variable is specified, value is assumed to be the empty string.

makeoptions MYMAKEOPTION="foobar"

maxusers number
This optional directive is used to configure the size of some kernel data structures. The parameter number can be 0 (the default) or an integer greater than or equal to 2. A value of 0 indicates that the kernel should configure its data structures according to the size of available physical memory. If auto configuration is requested, the kernel will set this tunable to a value between 32 and 384.

As explained in tuning(7), this tunable can also be set at boot time using loader(8).

nodevice name [,name [...]]
nodevices name [,name [...]]
Remove the specified devices from the list of previously selected devices. This directive can be used to cancel the effects of device or devices directives in files included using include.
nomakeoption name
Removes previously defined make(1) option name from the kernel build. This directive can be used to cancel the effects of makeoption directives in files included using include.
nooption name [,name [...]]
nooptions name [,name [...]]
Remove the specified kernel options from the list of previously defined options. This directive can be used to cancel the effects of option or options directives in files included using include.
option optionspec [,optionspec [...]]
options optionspec [,optionspec [...]]
Add compile time kernel options to the kernel build. Each option specification has the form

If value is not specified, it is assumed to be NULL. Options common to all architectures are specified in the file sys/conf/options. Options specific to architecture arch are specified in the file sys/conf/options.<arch>.

profile number
Enables kernel profiling if number is non-zero. If number is 2 or greater, the kernel is configured for high-resolution profiling. Kernels can also be built for profiling using the -p option to config(8).

Obsolete Directives

The following kernel configuration directives are obsolete.
This directive was used to specify the device to be used for the root file system. From
.Fx 4.0 onwards, this information is passed to a booting kernel by loader(8).


sys/compile/ NAME Compile directory created from a kernel configuration.
sys/conf/Makefile. arch Makefile fragments for architecture arch.
sys/conf/files Devices common to all architectures.
sys/conf/files. arch Devices for architecture arch.
sys/conf/options Options common to all architectures.
sys/conf/options. arch Options for architecture arch.


kenv(1), make(1), device.hints(5), loader.conf(5), config(8), kldload(8), loader(8)
.Rs "Building 4.4BSD Kernels with Config"



Created by Blin Media, 2008-2013