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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 1.12 2004/08/01 15:01:17 cam 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>0.7.1</version>
34 <date>August 2, 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 <p>
68 For more information, please read the <uri link="/doc/en/genkernel.xml">Gentoo
69 Linux Genkernel Guide</uri>.
70 </p>
71
72 </body>
73 </section>
74 <section>
75 <title>gentoo-sources</title>
76 <body>
77
78 <p>
79 For most users, the recommended kernel sources are the
80 <c>gentoo-sources</c>. The <c>gentoo-sources</c> package contains various
81 kernel patches, designed to improve user experience with respect to different
82 areas. Speaking of <e>security</e>: you can find support for
83 <uri link="http://www.grsecurity.net">grsecurity</uri>, together with other
84 security enhancements and, naturally, all the recent fixes for known
85 vulnerabilities. The included patches deal also with <e>performance</e>
86 (including tweaks for desktop usage and support for recent hardware) and
87 <e>features</e> (supermount, bootsplash, the latest NTFS drivers, and more).
88 </p>
89
90 <p>
91 The <c>gentoo-sources</c> (together with <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c>) absorb
92 most of the resources of the Gentoo kernel team. They are brought to you by a
93 group of talented developers, which can count on the expertise of popular
94 kernel hacker Greg Kroah-Hartman, maintainer of udev and responsible for the
95 USB and PCI subsystems of the official linux kernel.
96 </p>
97
98 </body>
99 </section>
100 <section>
101 <title>vanilla-sources</title>
102 <body>
103
104 <p>
105 The next kernel sources that many of you will probably be familiar with
106 as Linux users are the <c>vanilla-sources</c>. These are the official 2.4
107 kernel sources released on <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>, maintained
108 (contrary to popular belief) not by Linus Torvalds himself, but by Marcelo
109 Tosatti. Linus is the leader of active kernel development, but as he is
110 only one man, he passes off the maintenance of the stable 2.4 kernel branch
111 to someone he can trust to handle it once it has stabilized. Thus, Alan
112 Cox became the maintainer of the Linux-2.2 kernel series and Marcelo
113 Tosatti became the maintainer of the Linux-2.4 kernel series. This is
114 what all the other patch sets in the 2.4 series are based on. Marcelo has
115 been doing an outstanding job with its maintenance and it can be
116 counted on for stability and up-to-date (if not bleeding edge) hardware
117 support.
118 </p>
119
120 <p>
121 <c>vanilla-sources</c> are probably the most stable sources available
122 since they are the most tested and all possible kernel sources are based
123 on them. If you don't need any of the extras that the other kernels supply
124 then the <c>vanilla-sources</c> are your thing.
125 </p>
126
127 </body>
128 </section>
129 <section>
130 <title>gentoo-dev-sources</title>
131 <body>
132
133 <p>
134 The <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c> ebuild includes the most up-to-date 2.6 kernel
135 with Gentoo's optimized performance patches.
136 </p>
137
138 </body>
139 </section>
140 <section>
141 <title>development-sources</title>
142 <body>
143
144 <p>
145 The <c>development-sources</c> ebuild provides the stable 2.6 Linux kernel. As
146 opposed to what the name might suggest, this kernel source is completely stable
147 and production-ready. This is the official 2.6 kernel released on
148 <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>.
149 </p>
150
151 </body>
152 </section>
153 <section>
154 <title>gs-sources</title>
155 <body>
156
157 <p>
158 For users to whom desktop interactive performance comes as a secondary
159 priority to reliability and hardware support, we have the
160 <c>gs-sources</c>. GS stands for Gentoo Stable (creative, aren't we?).
161 This patch set is tuned and tested to provide the best support for the
162 latest hardware and ensures that your mission critical servers will be
163 up when you need them. This kernel doesn't have some of the most
164 aggressive performance tuning patches from the <c>gentoo-sources</c>,
165 but rest assured, the great performance that you know and love from the
166 vanilla kernels are alive and well. Where possible and without
167 compromising stability we add server related performance patches.
168 </p>
169
170 <p>
171 This kernel provides support for the latest ACPI subsystem, EVMS, ECC
172 (required for HA Linux systems), Encrypted Loopback devices, NTFS, Win4Lin
173 and XFS. It also contains updates for IDE, ext3 and several network cards
174 amongst other patches.
175 </p>
176
177 <p>
178 In other words, these sources are perfect for servers and
179 High-Availability systems.
180 </p>
181
182 <p>
183 The following USE-flags can be set to select optional patches:
184 </p>
185
186 <table>
187 <tr><th>Flags</th><th>Description</th></tr>
188 <tr><ti>crypt</ti><ti>Apply cryptographic patches</ti></tr>
189 </table>
190
191 </body>
192 </section>
193 <section>
194 <title>hardened-sources</title>
195 <body>
196
197 <p>
198 <c>hardened-sources</c> provides patches for the various subprojects of
199 Gentoo Hardened (such as support for LSM/SELinux and GRSecurity), together
200 with stability/security-enhancements. Check
201 <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for more information.
202 </p>
203
204 <p>
205 The following USE-flags can be set to select optional patches:
206 </p>
207
208 <table>
209 <tr><th>Flags</th><th>Description</th></tr>
210 <tr><ti>selinux</ti><ti>Substitute grSecurity with SELinux support</ti></tr>
211 </table>
212
213 </body>
214 </section>
215 <section>
216 <title>hardened-dev-sources</title>
217 <body>
218
219 <p>
220 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> use the 2.6 kernel with the patches provided by the
221 various subprojects of Gentoo Hardened.
222 </p>
223
224 </body>
225 </section>
226 <section>
227 <title>Architecture dependent kernels</title>
228 <body>
229
230 <p>
231 <c>alpha-sources</c>, <c>hppa-sources</c>, <c>hppa-dev-sources</c>,
232 <c>ia64-sources</c>, <c>mips-sources</c>, <c>ppc-sources</c>,
233 <c>pegasos-sources</c>, <c>pegasos-dev-sources</c>, <c>sparc-sources</c>
234 and <c>xbox-sources</c> are, as their names suggest, patched to run best on
235 specific architectures. They also contain some of the patches for hardware and
236 features support from the other patch sets mentioned above and below. Kernel
237 sources that contains a "-dev-" means that the sources use the 2.6 kernel
238 instead of the 2.4 kernel.
239 </p>
240
241 <p>
242 The <c>compaq-sources</c> provide RedHat's kernel sources for Alpha,
243 maintained by Compaq.
244 </p>
245
246 </body>
247 </section>
248 </chapter>
249
250 <chapter>
251 <title>The Choices, Part II</title>
252 <section>
253 <body>
254
255 <p>
256 Now I'm going to try to briefly describe some of the other
257 <path>sys-kernel/*-sources</path> which you saw scroll by when you ran
258 <c>emerge -s sources</c>. Lets take them in alphabetical order.
259 </p>
260
261 </body>
262 </section>
263 <section>
264 <title>aa-sources</title>
265 <body>
266
267 <p>
268 First we have <c>aa-sources</c>. This is Andrea Arcangeli's patch set.
269 Andrea is known as an amazing coder by many other kernel hackers. His
270 kernel patch set has some of the most aggressively tuned VM (Virtual
271 Memory) patches known to mankind.
272 </p>
273
274 <p>
275 It also provides User Mode Linux support (check out our
276 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">UML Guide</uri> for more information) and
277 the latest TUX Webserver (an in-kernel webserver).
278 </p>
279
280 <p>
281 If you have Memory Management troubles with other kernels,
282 <c>aa-sources</c> can be your solution. If you want to optimize Linux's
283 Memory Management for your system, <c>aa-sources</c> is <e>definitely</e>
284 what you need.
285 </p>
286
287 <p>
288 Visit
289 <uri>http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/andrea/kernels/v2.6</uri>
290 for more information about all the patches in these kernel sources.
291 </p>
292
293 </body>
294 </section>
295 <section>
296 <title>ck-sources</title>
297 <body>
298
299 <p>
300 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This kernel is
301 <e>HIGHLY</e> tuned for desktop performance at the expense of
302 throughput and some of the scheduler's ability to prioritize
303 applications. Con Kolivas benchmarks kernels to find the best
304 combination of features for desktop use. See
305 <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> for more information on Con and his
306 patches.
307 </p>
308
309 </body>
310 </section>
311 <section>
312 <title>grsec-sources</title>
313 <body>
314
315 <p>
316 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source is patched with the latest GRSecurity
317 updates (GRSecurity version 2.0 and up) which includes, amongst other
318 security-related patches, support for PaX.
319 </p>
320
321 </body>
322 </section>
323 <section>
324 <title>mm-sources</title>
325 <body>
326
327 <p>
328 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>development-sources</c> and contain
329 Andrew Morton's patch set. They include the experimental and bleeding-edge
330 features that are going to be included in the official kernel (or that are
331 going to be rejected because they set your box on fire). They are known to be
332 always moving at a fast pace and can change radically from one week to the
333 other; kernel hackers use them as a testing ground for new stuff.
334 </p>
335
336 <p>
337 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
338 <c>development-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
339 <c>mm-sources</c>.
340 </p>
341
342 </body>
343 </section>
344 <section>
345 <title>openmosix-sources</title>
346 <body>
347
348 <p>
349 The <c>openmosix-sources</c> are patched to support the openMosix system
350 (like MOSIX but Open Source). For more information see
351 <uri>http://www.openmosix.org</uri>.
352 </p>
353
354 </body>
355 </section>
356 <section>
357 <title>pac-sources</title>
358 <body>
359
360 <p>
361 The <c>pac-sources</c> kernel tree is patched with Bernhard Rosenkraenzer's
362 (bero) patches.
363 </p>
364
365 </body>
366 </section>
367 <section>
368 <title>planet-ccrma-sources</title>
369 <body>
370
371 <p>
372 This kernel source contains the Linux Kernel source for the version of the
373 Redhat Linux Kernel modified by the Planet CCRMA (custom audio upgrade) project.
374 </p>
375
376 <p>
377 More information can be found at <uri>http://ccrma-www.stanford.edu/</uri>.
378 </p>
379
380 </body>
381 </section>
382 <section>
383 <title>selinux-sources</title>
384 <body>
385
386 <p>
387 <c>selinux-sources</c> from <uri>http://www.nsa.gov/selinux</uri> are
388 patches for the security conscious to support the LSM (Linux Security
389 Modules) and the Flask Security Architecture.
390 </p>
391
392 </body>
393 </section>
394 <section>
395 <title>usermode-sources</title>
396 <body>
397
398 <p>
399 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
400 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
401 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
402 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
403 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
404 </p>
405
406 <p>
407 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
408 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
409 </p>
410
411 </body>
412 </section>
413 <section>
414 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
415 <body>
416
417 <p>
418 <c>win4lin-sources</c> are patched to support the userland win4lin tools
419 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
420 at almost native speeds. See <uri>http://www.netraverse.com/</uri> for more
421 information.
422 </p>
423
424 </body>
425 </section>
426 <section>
427 <title>wolk-sources</title>
428 <body>
429
430 <p>
431 <c>wolk-sources</c> contains the <e>Working Overloaded Linux Kernel</e> from
432 <uri>http://sourceforge.net/projects/wolk</uri>. This kernel contains
433 many patches of a wide variety, all combined into the kernel with
434 extreme care. This allows you to configure nearly every one into and out
435 of the kernel at compile time -- so the kernel will work with nearly any
436 combination of the patches.
437 </p>
438
439 <p>
440 If you need a certain combination of patches that you cannot find in other
441 kernel sources, WOLK is definitely worth a shot.
442 </p>
443
444 </body>
445 </section>
446 </chapter>
447 </guide>

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