to me, specifying hardware for compiling the kernel is the biggest pain and things never seem to go perfectly.
Either the boot process is too slow, or sound doesn't work, or something...

Is there a script that will determine what to omit or compile based solely on the hardware it detects itself?

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not really. you should collect all information about your hardware before you go for a kernel recompilation, and that includes even the non-obvious things, like making sure you will use the highmem module

suppose the script could make a log of the hardware info you'd need to actually compile?
maybe i'll write something...

Why not install hwinfo , and use

hwinfo > HardwareInfo

And use the file HardwareInfo to check?

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