5.1 About Kernel Modules

The boot loader loads the kernel into memory. You can add new code to the kernel by including the source files in the kernel source tree and recompiling the kernel. Kernel modules, which can be dynamically loaded and unloaded on demand, provide device drivers that allow the kernel to access new hardware, support different file system types, and extend its functionality in other ways. To avoid wasting memory on unused device drivers, Oracle Linux supports loadable kernel modules (LKMs), which allow a system to run with only the device drivers and kernel code that it requires loaded into memory.