After the general option part is complete, the configuration will go on to ask you for various features such as SCSI drivers, etc. The subsequent list questions deal with networking support. The exact set of configuration options is in constant flux because of the ongoing development. A typical list of options offered by most kernel versions around 1.0 and 1.1 looks like this (comments are given in italics):
Despite the macro name displayed in brackets, you must answer this question with y if you want to use any type of networking devices, regardless of whether this is Ethernet, SLIP, or PPP. When answering this question with y , support for Ethernet-type devices is enabled automatically. Support for other types of network drivers must be enabled separately:
These questions concern the various link layer protocols supported by . SLIP allows you to transport IP datagrams across serial lines. The compressed header option provides support for CSLIP, a technique that compresses TCP/IP headers to as little as three bytes. Note that this kernel option does not turn on CSLIP automatically, it merely provides the necessary kernel functions for it.
PPP is another protocol to send network traffic across serial lines. It is much more flexible than SLIP, and is not limited to IP, but will also support IPX once it is implemented. As PPP support has been completed only lately, this option may not be present in your kernel.
PLIP provides for a way to send IP datagrams across a parallel port connection. It is mostly used to communicate with PCs running DOS.
The following questions deal with Ethernet boards from various vendors. As more drivers are being developed, you are likely to see questions added to this section. If you want to build a kernel you can use on a number of different machines, you can enable more than one driver.
Finally, in the filesystem section, the configuration script will ask you whether you want support for NFS, the networking filesystem. NFS lets you export filesystems to several hosts, which makes the files appear as if they were on an ordinary hard disk attached to the host.