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CompTIA Linux+ XK0-005 - 1.7 - Configure Kernel Options: rmmod

Configuring kernel modules is an essential task in managing a Linux system. Kernel modules are dynamically loadable components that extend the functionality of the Linux kernel. In this guide, we will explore how to remove or unload a kernel module using the rmmod command.

Working with rmmod

The rmmod command allows you to remove or unload a kernel module from the running kernel. Unloading a module frees up system resources and can be useful when you no longer need a specific module. Here's how you can work with the rmmod command:

  1. Open a terminal on your Linux system.

  2. Use the lsmod command to list the currently loaded modules and identify the module you want to remove. The output will display the module name, its size, and a list of other modules that depend on it.


    Example output:

    Module                  Size  Used by
    module_name            20480  0
    another_module         16384  1 module_name

    Identify the module you want to remove, such as module_name in the example.

  3. To remove a kernel module using rmmod, use the following command:

    rmmod module_name

    Replace module_name with the actual name of the module you want to remove.

    If the module is successfully unloaded, it will not produce any output. In case of an error, you may see relevant error messages indicating the cause of the failure.

  4. If the module cannot be unloaded due to dependencies or other issues, you can use the --force or -f option with rmmod to forcefully remove the module. However, be cautious when using this option, as it can lead to instability or unexpected behavior in your system.

    rmmod --force module_name

    Use the --force or -f option only when necessary and ensure that you understand the potential consequences.


Managing kernel modules using the rmmod command is crucial for maintaining and optimizing a Linux system. The ability to remove or unload unnecessary modules helps conserve system resources and improve system performance.

Understanding how to configure kernel options using the rmmod command, including the --force or -f option, is essential for system administrators to efficiently manage kernel modules. By using the lsmod command, you can identify the loaded modules and determine which ones to remove with the rmmod command.

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