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Buildroot is a great tool for creating a custom embedded linux system. If one builds a plain system without any changes from the default configuration using the current 2016.05 version one ends up with a modest size image.

The rootfs has a size of 44.3 MB. The directory /lib/modules/4.4.8/kernel has a size of 41.4 MB.

I guess that not all this modules are needed. Is there any way to omit unnecessary modules and shrink the image therefore?

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The answer is quite simple: remove the directory with the modules (or any subset) from output/target/lib and execute another make to rebuild the image file. The files are omitted and the image is smaller.

In order to reduce the image size further one can shrink the boot.vfat file which contains the boot partition. The size can be adjusted in nano board/YOUR_BOARD/genimage-YOUR_BOARD.cfg.

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