|Linux on the Road: A Guide for Laptops and Mobile Devices|
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Many kernel features are related to laptops. For instance APM, IrDA®, PCMCIA and some options for certain laptops, e.g. IBM™ ThinkPads. In some distributions they not configured. And the kernel is usually bigger than necessary. So it's seems a good idea to customize the kernel. Though this task might seem difficult for the beginner it is highly recommended. Since this involves dangerous operations you need to be careful. But, if you can install a better kernel successfully, you've earned your intermediate Linux sysadmin merit badge. - Since this topic is already covered in other documents I will not handle this here.