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1 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
2 <!-- $Header: /var/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/gentoo-kernel.xml,v 1.9 2004/07/03 12:07:11 bennyc Exp $ -->
3
4 <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
5 <guide link="/doc/en/gentoo-kernel.xml">
6 <title>Gentoo Linux Kernel Guide</title>
7 <author title="Author">
8 <mail link="swift@gentoo.org">Sven Vermeulen</mail>
9 </author>
10 <author title="Contributor">
11 <mail link="lostlogic@gentoo.org">Brandon Low</mail>
12 </author>
13 <author title="Editor">
14 <mail link="carl@gentoo.org">Carl Anderson</mail>
15 </author>
16 <author title="Editor">
17 <mail link="peesh@gentoo.org">Jorge Paulo</mail>
18 </author>
19 <author title="Editor">
20 <mail link="bennyc@gentoo.org">Benny Chuang</mail>
21 </author>
22 <author title="Editor">
23 <mail link="g.guidi@sns.it">Gregorio Guidi</mail>
24 </author>
25
26 <abstract>
27 This document gives you an overview on all kernel sources that Gentoo
28 provides through Portage.
29 </abstract>
30
31 <license/>
32
33 <version>0.6</version>
34 <date>July 13, 2004</date>
35
36 <chapter>
37 <title>Introduction</title>
38 <section>
39 <body>
40
41 <p>
42 As with everything else in Gentoo Linux, the philosophy of the Gentoo
43 Kernel team is to give you, the user, as much freedom of choice as
44 possible. If you take a look at the output of <c>emerge -s sources</c>
45 you see a large variety of kernels to choose from. In this document,
46 I will attempt to give you a brief rundown of the goals of each of the
47 patch sets, which we at Gentoo design, and also explain the other kernel
48 sources we make available to you.
49 </p>
50
51 </body>
52 </section>
53 </chapter>
54
55 <chapter>
56 <title>The Choices, Part I</title>
57 <section>
58 <title>genkernel</title>
59 <body>
60
61 <p>
62 <c>Genkernel</c> is a kernel toolset that can be used to autodetect your
63 hardware and configure your kernel automatically. This is usually recommended
64 for users who do not feel comfortable about compiling a kernel manually.
65 </p>
66
67 </body>
68 </section>
69 <section>
70 <title>gentoo-sources</title>
71 <body>
72
73 <p>
74 For most users, the recommended kernel sources are the
75 <c>gentoo-sources</c>. The <c>gentoo-sources</c> package contains various
76 kernel patches, designed to improve user experience with respect to different
77 areas. Speaking of <e>security</e>: you can find support for
78 <uri link="http://www.grsecurity.net">grsecurity</uri>, together with other
79 security enhancements and, naturally, all the recent fixes for known
80 vulnerabilities. The included patches deal also with <e>performance</e>
81 (including tweaks for desktop usage and support for recent hardware) and
82 <e>features</e> (supermount, bootsplash, the latest NTFS drivers, and more).
83 </p>
84
85 <p>
86 The <c>gentoo-sources</c> (together with <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c>) absorb
87 most of the resources of the Gentoo kernel team. They are brought to you by a
88 group of talented developers, which can count on the expertise of popular
89 kernel hacker Greg Kroah-Hartman, maintainer of udev and responsible for the
90 USB and PCI subsystems of the official linux kernel.
91 </p>
92
93 </body>
94 </section>
95 <section>
96 <title>vanilla-sources</title>
97 <body>
98
99 <p>
100 The next kernel sources that many of you will probably be familiar with
101 as Linux users are the <c>vanilla-sources</c>. These are the official 2.4
102 kernel sources released on <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>, maintained
103 (contrary to popular belief) not by Linus Torvalds himself, but by Marcelo
104 Tosatti. Linus is the leader of active kernel development, but as he is
105 only one man, he passes off the maintenance of the stable 2.4 kernel branch
106 to someone he can trust to handle it once it has stabilized. Thus, Alan
107 Cox became the maintainer of the Linux-2.2 kernel series and Marcelo
108 Tosatti became the maintainer of the Linux-2.4 kernel series. This is
109 what all the other patch sets in the 2.4 series are based on. Marcelo has
110 been doing an outstanding job with its maintenance and it can be
111 counted on for stability and up-to-date (if not bleeding edge) hardware
112 support.
113 </p>
114
115 <p>
116 <c>vanilla-sources</c> are probably the most stable sources available
117 since they are the most tested and all possible kernel sources are based
118 on them. If you don't need any of the extras that the other kernels supply
119 then the <c>vanilla-sources</c> are your thing.
120 </p>
121
122 </body>
123 </section>
124 <section>
125 <title>gentoo-dev-sources</title>
126 <body>
127
128 <p>
129 The <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c> ebuild includes the most up-to-date 2.6 kernel
130 with Gentoo's optimized performance patches.
131 </p>
132
133 </body>
134 </section>
135 <section>
136 <title>development-sources</title>
137 <body>
138
139 <p>
140 The <c>development-sources</c> ebuild provides the stable 2.6 Linux kernel. As
141 opposed to what the name might suggest, this kernel source is completely stable
142 and production-ready. This is the official 2.6 kernel released on
143 <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>.
144 </p>
145
146 </body>
147 </section>
148 <section>
149 <title>gs-sources</title>
150 <body>
151
152 <p>
153 For users to whom desktop interactive performance comes as a secondary
154 priority to reliability and hardware support, we have the
155 <c>gs-sources</c>. GS stands for Gentoo Stable (creative, aren't we?).
156 This patch set is tuned and tested to provide the best support for the
157 latest hardware and ensures that your mission critical servers will be
158 up when you need them. This kernel doesn't have some of the most
159 aggressive performance tuning patches from the <c>gentoo-sources</c>,
160 but rest assured, the great performance that you know and love from the
161 vanilla kernels are alive and well. Where possible and without
162 compromising stability we add server related performance patches.
163 </p>
164
165 <p>
166 This kernel provides support for the latest ACPI subsystem, EVMS, ECC
167 (required for HA Linux systems), Encrypted Loopback devices, NTFS, Win4Lin
168 and XFS. It also contains updates for IDE, ext3 and several network cards
169 amongst other patches.
170 </p>
171
172 <p>
173 In other words, these sources are perfect for servers and
174 High-Availability systems.
175 </p>
176
177 <p>
178 The following USE-flags can be set to select optional patches:
179 </p>
180
181 <table>
182 <tr><th>Flags</th><th>Description</th></tr>
183 <tr><ti>crypt</ti><ti>Apply cryptographic patches</ti></tr>
184 </table>
185
186 </body>
187 </section>
188 <section>
189 <title>hardened-sources</title>
190 <body>
191
192 <p>
193 <c>hardened-sources</c> provides patches for the various subprojects of
194 Gentoo Hardened (such as support for LSM/SELinux and GRSecurity), together
195 with stability/security-enhancements. Check
196 <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for more information.
197 </p>
198
199 <p>
200 The following USE-flags can be set to select optional patches:
201 </p>
202
203 <table>
204 <tr><th>Flags</th><th>Description</th></tr>
205 <tr><ti>selinux</ti><ti>Substitute grSecurity with SELinux support</ti></tr>
206 </table>
207
208 </body>
209 </section>
210 <section>
211 <title>hardened-dev-sources</title>
212 <body>
213
214 <p>
215 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> use the 2.6 kernel with the patches provided by the
216 various subprojects of Gentoo Hardened.
217 </p>
218
219 </body>
220 </section>
221 <section>
222 <title>Architecture dependent kernels</title>
223 <body>
224
225 <p>
226 <c>alpha-sources</c>, <c>hppa-sources</c>, <c>hppa-dev-sources</c>,
227 <c>ia64-sources</c>, <c>mips-sources</c>, <c>ppc-sources</c>,
228 <c>ppc-dev-sources</c>, <c>ppc64-sources</c>,
229 <c>pegasos-sources</c>, <c>pegasos-dev-sources</c>, <c>sparc-sources</c>
230 and <c>xbox-sources</c> are, as their names suggest, patched to run best on
231 specific architectures. They also contain some of the patches for hardware and
232 features support from the other patch sets mentioned above and below. Kernel
233 sources that contains a "-dev-" means that the sources use the 2.6 kernel
234 instead of the 2.4 kernel.
235 </p>
236
237 <p>
238 The <c>compaq-sources</c> provide RedHat's kernel sources for Alpha,
239 maintained by Compaq.
240 </p>
241
242 </body>
243 </section>
244 </chapter>
245
246 <chapter>
247 <title>The Choices, Part II</title>
248 <section>
249 <body>
250
251 <p>
252 Now I'm going to try to briefly describe some of the other
253 <path>sys-kernel/*-sources</path> which you saw scroll by when you ran
254 <c>emerge -s sources</c>. Lets take them in alphabetical order.
255 </p>
256
257 </body>
258 </section>
259 <section>
260 <title>aa-sources</title>
261 <body>
262
263 <p>
264 First we have <c>aa-sources</c>. This is Andrea Arcangeli's patch set.
265 Andrea is known as an amazing coder by many other kernel hackers. His
266 kernel patch set has some of the most aggressively tuned VM (Virtual
267 Memory) patches known to mankind.
268 </p>
269
270 <p>
271 It also provides User Mode Linux support (check out our
272 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">UML Guide</uri> for more information) and
273 the latest TUX Webserver (an in-kernel webserver).
274 </p>
275
276 <p>
277 If you have Memory Management troubles with other kernels,
278 <c>aa-sources</c> can be your solution. If you want to optimize Linux's
279 Memory Management for your system, <c>aa-sources</c> is <e>definitely</e>
280 what you need.
281 </p>
282
283 <p>
284 Visit
285 <uri>http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/andrea/kernels/v2.6</uri>
286 for more information about all the patches in these kernel sources.
287 </p>
288
289 </body>
290 </section>
291 <section>
292 <title>ck-sources</title>
293 <body>
294
295 <p>
296 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This kernel is
297 <e>HIGHLY</e> tuned for desktop performance at the expense of
298 throughput and some of the scheduler's ability to prioritize
299 applications. Con Kolivas benchmarks kernels to find the best
300 combination of features for desktop use. See
301 <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> for more information on Con and his
302 patches.
303 </p>
304
305 </body>
306 </section>
307 <section>
308 <title>grsec-sources</title>
309 <body>
310
311 <p>
312 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source is patched with the latest GRSecurity
313 updates (GRSecurity version 2.0 and up) which includes, amongst other
314 security-related patches, support for PaX.
315 </p>
316
317 </body>
318 </section>
319 <section>
320 <title>mm-sources</title>
321 <body>
322
323 <p>
324 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>development-sources</c> and contain
325 Andrew Morton's patch set. They include the experimental and bleeding-edge
326 features that are going to be included in the official kernel (or that are
327 going to be rejected because they set your box on fire). They are known to be
328 always moving at a fast pace and can change radically from one week to the
329 other; kernel hackers use them as a testing ground for new stuff.
330 </p>
331
332 <p>
333 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
334 <c>development-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
335 <c>mm-sources</c>.
336 </p>
337
338 </body>
339 </section>
340 <section>
341 <title>openmosix-sources</title>
342 <body>
343
344 <p>
345 The <c>openmosix-sources</c> are patched to support the openMosix system
346 (like MOSIX but Open Source). For more information see
347 <uri>http://www.openmosix.org</uri>.
348 </p>
349
350 </body>
351 </section>
352 <section>
353 <title>pac-sources</title>
354 <body>
355
356 <p>
357 The <c>pac-sources</c> kernel tree is patched with Bernhard Rosenkraenzer's
358 (bero) patches.
359 </p>
360
361 </body>
362 </section>
363 <section>
364 <title>planet-ccrma-sources</title>
365 <body>
366
367 <p>
368 This kernel source contains the Linux Kernel source for the version of the
369 Redhat Linux Kernel modified by the Planet CCRMA (custom audio upgrade) project.
370 </p>
371
372 <p>
373 More information can be found at <uri>http://ccrma-www.stanford.edu/</uri>.
374 </p>
375
376 </body>
377 </section>
378 <section>
379 <title>selinux-sources</title>
380 <body>
381
382 <p>
383 <c>selinux-sources</c> from <uri>http://www.nsa.gov/selinux</uri> are
384 patches for the security conscious to support the LSM (Linux Security
385 Modules) and the Flask Security Architecture.
386 </p>
387
388 </body>
389 </section>
390 <section>
391 <title>usermode-sources</title>
392 <body>
393
394 <p>
395 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
396 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
397 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
398 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
399 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
400 </p>
401
402 <p>
403 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
404 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
405 </p>
406
407 </body>
408 </section>
409 <section>
410 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
411 <body>
412
413 <p>
414 <c>win4lin-sources</c> are patched to support the userland win4lin tools
415 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
416 at almost native speeds. See <uri>http://www.netraverse.com/</uri> for more
417 information.
418 </p>
419
420 </body>
421 </section>
422 <section>
423 <title>wolk-sources</title>
424 <body>
425
426 <p>
427 <c>wolk-sources</c> contains the <e>Working Overloaded Linux Kernel</e> from
428 <uri>http://sourceforge.net/projects/wolk</uri>. This kernel contains
429 many patches of a wide variety, all combined into the kernel with
430 extreme care. This allows you to configure nearly every one into and out
431 of the kernel at compile time -- so the kernel will work with nearly any
432 combination of the patches.
433 </p>
434
435 <p>
436 If you need a certain combination of patches that you cannot find in other
437 kernel sources, WOLK is definitely worth a shot.
438 </p>
439
440 </body>
441 </section>
442 </chapter>
443 </guide>

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