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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 1.14 2004/08/24 01:42:04 plasmaroo 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>0.7.2</version>
34 <date>August 24, 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>hardened-sources</title>
155 <body>
156
157 <p>
158 <c>hardened-sources</c> provides patches for the various subprojects of
159 Gentoo Hardened (such as support for LSM/SELinux and GRSecurity), together
160 with stability/security-enhancements. Check
161 <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for more information.
162 </p>
163
164 <p>
165 The following USE-flags can be set to select optional patches:
166 </p>
167
168 <table>
169 <tr><th>Flags</th><th>Description</th></tr>
170 <tr><ti>selinux</ti><ti>Substitute grSecurity with SELinux support</ti></tr>
171 </table>
172
173 </body>
174 </section>
175 <section>
176 <title>hardened-dev-sources</title>
177 <body>
178
179 <p>
180 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> use the 2.6 kernel with the patches provided by the
181 various subprojects of Gentoo Hardened.
182 </p>
183
184 </body>
185 </section>
186 <section>
187 <title>Architecture dependent kernels</title>
188 <body>
189
190 <p>
191 <c>alpha-sources</c>, <c>hppa-sources</c>, <c>hppa-dev-sources</c>,
192 <c>ia64-sources</c>, <c>mips-sources</c>, <c>ppc-sources</c>,
193 <c>pegasos-sources</c>, <c>pegasos-dev-sources</c>, <c>sparc-sources</c>
194 and <c>xbox-sources</c> are, as their names suggest, patched to run best on
195 specific architectures. They also contain some of the patches for hardware and
196 features support from the other patch sets mentioned above and below. Kernel
197 sources that contains a "-dev-" means that the sources use the 2.6 kernel
198 instead of the 2.4 kernel.
199 </p>
200
201 <p>
202 The <c>compaq-sources</c> provide RedHat's kernel sources for Alpha,
203 maintained by Compaq.
204 </p>
205
206 </body>
207 </section>
208 </chapter>
209
210 <chapter>
211 <title>The Choices, Part II</title>
212 <section>
213 <body>
214
215 <p>
216 Now I'm going to try to briefly describe some of the other
217 <path>sys-kernel/*-sources</path> which you saw scroll by when you ran
218 <c>emerge -s sources</c>. Lets take them in alphabetical order.
219 </p>
220
221 </body>
222 </section>
223 <section>
224 <title>aa-sources</title>
225 <body>
226
227 <p>
228 First we have <c>aa-sources</c>. This is Andrea Arcangeli's patch set.
229 Andrea is known as an amazing coder by many other kernel hackers. His
230 kernel patch set has some of the most aggressively tuned VM (Virtual
231 Memory) patches known to mankind.
232 </p>
233
234 <p>
235 It also provides User Mode Linux support (check out our
236 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">UML Guide</uri> for more information) and
237 the latest TUX Webserver (an in-kernel webserver).
238 </p>
239
240 <p>
241 If you have Memory Management troubles with other kernels,
242 <c>aa-sources</c> can be your solution. If you want to optimize Linux's
243 Memory Management for your system, <c>aa-sources</c> is <e>definitely</e>
244 what you need.
245 </p>
246
247 <p>
248 Visit
249 <uri>http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/andrea/kernels/v2.6</uri>
250 for more information about all the patches in these kernel sources.
251 </p>
252
253 </body>
254 </section>
255 <section>
256 <title>ck-sources</title>
257 <body>
258
259 <p>
260 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This kernel is
261 <e>HIGHLY</e> tuned for desktop performance at the expense of
262 throughput and some of the scheduler's ability to prioritize
263 applications. Con Kolivas benchmarks kernels to find the best
264 combination of features for desktop use. See
265 <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> for more information on Con and his
266 patches.
267 </p>
268
269 </body>
270 </section>
271 <section>
272 <title>grsec-sources</title>
273 <body>
274
275 <p>
276 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source is patched with the latest GRSecurity
277 updates (GRSecurity version 2.0 and up) which includes, amongst other
278 security-related patches, support for PaX.
279 </p>
280
281 </body>
282 </section>
283 <section>
284 <title>mm-sources</title>
285 <body>
286
287 <p>
288 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>development-sources</c> and contain
289 Andrew Morton's patch set. They include the experimental and bleeding-edge
290 features that are going to be included in the official kernel (or that are
291 going to be rejected because they set your box on fire). They are known to be
292 always moving at a fast pace and can change radically from one week to the
293 other; kernel hackers use them as a testing ground for new stuff.
294 </p>
295
296 <p>
297 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
298 <c>development-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
299 <c>mm-sources</c>.
300 </p>
301
302 </body>
303 </section>
304 <section>
305 <title>openmosix-sources</title>
306 <body>
307
308 <p>
309 The <c>openmosix-sources</c> are patched to support the openMosix system
310 (like MOSIX but Open Source). For more information see
311 <uri>http://www.openmosix.org</uri>.
312 </p>
313
314 </body>
315 </section>
316 <section>
317 <title>pac-sources</title>
318 <body>
319
320 <p>
321 The <c>pac-sources</c> kernel tree is patched with Bernhard Rosenkraenzer's
322 (bero) patches.
323 </p>
324
325 </body>
326 </section>
327 <section>
328 <title>selinux-sources</title>
329 <body>
330
331 <p>
332 <c>selinux-sources</c> from <uri>http://www.nsa.gov/selinux</uri> are
333 patches for the security conscious to support the LSM (Linux Security
334 Modules) and the Flask Security Architecture.
335 </p>
336
337 </body>
338 </section>
339 <section>
340 <title>usermode-sources</title>
341 <body>
342
343 <p>
344 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
345 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
346 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
347 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
348 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
349 </p>
350
351 <p>
352 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
353 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
354 </p>
355
356 </body>
357 </section>
358 <section>
359 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
360 <body>
361
362 <p>
363 <c>win4lin-sources</c> are patched to support the userland win4lin tools
364 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
365 at almost native speeds. See <uri>http://www.netraverse.com/</uri> for more
366 information.
367 </p>
368
369 </body>
370 </section>
371 <section>
372 <title>wolk-sources</title>
373 <body>
374
375 <p>
376 <c>wolk-sources</c> contains the <e>Working Overloaded Linux Kernel</e> from
377 <uri>http://sourceforge.net/projects/wolk</uri>. This kernel contains
378 many patches of a wide variety, all combined into the kernel with
379 extreme care. This allows you to configure nearly every one into and out
380 of the kernel at compile time -- so the kernel will work with nearly any
381 combination of the patches.
382 </p>
383
384 <p>
385 If you need a certain combination of patches that you cannot find in other
386 kernel sources, WOLK is definitely worth a shot.
387 </p>
388
389 </body>
390 </section>
391 </chapter>
392 </guide>

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