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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 1.18 2004/11/02 16:51:32 swift 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="dsd@gentoo.org">Daniel Drake</mail>
15 </author>
16 <author title="Editor">
17 <mail link="carl@gentoo.org">Carl Anderson</mail>
18 </author>
19 <author title="Editor">
20 <mail link="peesh@gentoo.org">Jorge Paulo</mail>
21 </author>
22 <author title="Editor">
23 <mail link="bennyc@gentoo.org">Benny Chuang</mail>
24 </author>
25 <author title="Editor">
26 <mail link="g.guidi@sns.it">Gregorio Guidi</mail>
27 </author>
28
29 <abstract>
30 This document gives you an overview on all kernel sources that Gentoo
31 provides through Portage.
32 </abstract>
33
34 <license/>
35
36 <version>0.7.5</version>
37 <date>November 02, 2004</date>
38
39 <chapter>
40 <title>Introduction</title>
41 <section>
42 <body>
43
44 <p>
45 As with everything else in Gentoo Linux, the philosophy of the Gentoo
46 Kernel team is to give you, the user, as much freedom of choice as
47 possible. If you take a look at the output of <c>emerge -s sources</c>
48 you see a large variety of kernels to choose from. In this document,
49 I will attempt to give you a brief rundown of the goals of each of the
50 patch sets, which we at Gentoo design, and also explain the other kernel
51 sources we make available to you.
52 </p>
53
54 </body>
55 </section>
56 </chapter>
57
58 <chapter>
59 <title>Supported kernel packages</title>
60 <section>
61 <title>genkernel</title>
62 <body>
63
64 <p>
65 <c>Genkernel</c> is a kernel toolset that can be used to autodetect your
66 hardware and configure your kernel automatically. This is usually recommended
67 for users who do not feel comfortable about compiling a kernel manually.
68 </p>
69
70 <p>
71 For more information, please read the <uri link="/doc/en/genkernel.xml">Gentoo
72 Linux Genkernel Guide</uri>.
73 </p>
74
75 </body>
76 </section>
77 <section>
78 <title>General purpose: gentoo-sources and gentoo-dev-sources</title>
79 <body>
80
81 <p>
82 For most users, the recommended kernel sources are the
83 <c>gentoo-sources</c>. The <c>gentoo-sources</c> package contains various
84 kernel patches, designed to improve user experience with respect to different
85 areas. Speaking of <e>security</e>: you can find support for
86 <uri link="http://www.grsecurity.net">grsecurity</uri>, together with other
87 security enhancements and, naturally, all the recent fixes for known
88 vulnerabilities. The included patches deal also with <e>performance</e>
89 (including tweaks for desktop usage and support for recent hardware) and
90 <e>features</e> (supermount, bootsplash, the latest NTFS drivers, and more).
91 </p>
92
93 <p>
94 For users looking to take advantage of the new features, stability, and
95 performance of Linux 2.6, we provide <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c>. This package
96 consists of a minimal patchset providing fixes and enhancement for stability
97 and security. This kernel will become our recommended default at some point
98 in the near future.
99 </p>
100
101 <p>
102 The <c>gentoo-sources</c> (together with <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c>) absorb
103 most of the resources of the Gentoo kernel team. They are brought to you by a
104 group of talented developers, which can count on the expertise of popular
105 kernel hacker Greg Kroah-Hartman, maintainer of udev and responsible for the
106 USB and PCI subsystems of the official Linux kernel.
107 </p>
108
109 </body>
110 </section>
111 <section>
112 <title>Plain kernels: vanilla-sources and development-sources</title>
113 <body>
114
115 <p>
116 The next kernel sources that many of you will probably be familiar with
117 as Linux users are the <c>vanilla-sources</c>. These are the official 2.4
118 kernel sources released on <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>, maintained
119 (contrary to popular belief) not by Linus Torvalds himself, but by Marcelo
120 Tosatti. Linus is the leader of active kernel development, but as he is
121 only one man, he passes off the maintenance of the stable kernel branch
122 to someone he can trust to handle it once it has stabilized. Thus, Alan
123 Cox became the maintainer of the Linux-2.2 kernel series and Marcelo
124 Tosatti became the maintainer of the Linux-2.4 kernel series. This last kernel
125 is what all the patch sets in the 2.4 series are based on. Marcelo has
126 been doing an outstanding job with its maintenance and it can be
127 counted on for stability and up-to-date (if not bleeding edge) hardware
128 support.
129 </p>
130
131 <p>
132 The <c>development-sources</c> ebuild provides the stable 2.6 Linux kernel. As
133 opposed to what the name might suggest, this kernel source is completely stable
134 and production-ready. This is the official 2.6 kernel released on
135 <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>.
136 </p>
137
138 </body>
139 </section>
140
141 <section>
142 <title>For servers: hardened-sources and hardened-dev-sources</title>
143 <body>
144
145 <p>
146 <c>hardened-sources</c> is based on Linux 2.4 and is targetted at our users
147 running Gentoo on server systems. It provides patches for the various
148 subprojects of Gentoo Hardened (such as support for LSM/SELinux and
149 GRSecurity), together with stability/security-enhancements. Check
150 <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for more information.
151 </p>
152
153 <p>
154 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> serves the same purpose as <c>hardened-sources</c>
155 but is based on the newer Linux 2.6 kernel base.
156 </p>
157
158 <p>
159 The following USE-flags can be set to select optional patches:
160 </p>
161
162 <table>
163 <tr><th>Flags</th><th>Description</th></tr>
164 <tr><ti>selinux</ti><ti>Substitute grSecurity with SELinux support</ti></tr>
165 </table>
166
167 </body>
168 </section>
169 <section>
170 <title>Architecture dependent kernels</title>
171 <body>
172
173 <p>
174 <c>alpha-sources</c>, <c>hppa-sources</c>, <c>hppa-dev-sources</c>,
175 <c>mips-sources</c>, <c>pegasos-dev-sources</c>, <c>sparc-sources</c>
176 and <c>xbox-sources</c> are, as their names suggest,
177 patched to run best on specific architectures. They also contain some of
178 the patches for hardware and features support from the other patch sets
179 mentioned above and below. A "-dev-" in the name of a kernel package means that
180 the sources use the 2.6 kernel instead of the 2.4 kernel.
181 </p>
182
183 </body>
184 </section>
185 </chapter>
186
187 <chapter>
188 <title>Unsupported kernel packages</title>
189 <section>
190 <body>
191
192 <p>
193 Now I'm going to try to briefly describe some of the other
194 <path>sys-kernel/*-sources</path> which you saw scroll by when you ran
195 <c>emerge -s sources</c>. Lets take them in alphabetical order. These
196 kernels are provided as a courtesy only and the various patch sets are not
197 supported by the Gentoo team.
198 </p>
199
200 </body>
201 </section>
202 <section>
203 <title>aa-sources</title>
204 <body>
205
206 <p>
207 First we have <c>aa-sources</c>. This is Andrea Arcangeli's patch set.
208 Andrea is known as an amazing coder by many other kernel hackers. His
209 kernel patch set has some of the most aggressively tuned VM (Virtual
210 Memory) patches known to mankind.
211 </p>
212
213 <p>
214 It also provides User Mode Linux support (check out our
215 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">UML Guide</uri> for more information) and
216 the latest TUX Webserver (an in-kernel webserver).
217 </p>
218
219 <p>
220 If you have Memory Management troubles with other kernels,
221 <c>aa-sources</c> can be your solution. If you want to optimize Linux's
222 Memory Management for your system, <c>aa-sources</c> is <e>definitely</e>
223 what you need.
224 </p>
225
226 <p>
227 Visit
228 <uri>http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/andrea/kernels/v2.6</uri>
229 for more information about all the patches in these kernel sources.
230 </p>
231
232 <p>
233 Andrea has not been maintaining his patchsets recently, and as a result of
234 this, this kernel is a bit out of date and may be removed from Portage soon.
235 </p>
236
237 </body>
238 </section>
239 <section>
240 <title>ck-sources</title>
241 <body>
242
243 <p>
244 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This kernel is
245 <e>HIGHLY</e> tuned for desktop performance at the expense of
246 throughput and some of the scheduler's ability to prioritize
247 applications. Con Kolivas benchmarks kernels to find the best
248 combination of features for desktop use. See
249 <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> for more information on Con and his
250 patches.
251 </p>
252
253 </body>
254 </section>
255 <section>
256 <title>grsec-sources</title>
257 <body>
258
259 <p>
260 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source is patched with the latest GRSecurity
261 updates (GRSecurity version 2.0 and up) which includes, amongst other
262 security-related patches, support for PaX.
263 </p>
264
265 </body>
266 </section>
267 <section>
268 <title>mm-sources</title>
269 <body>
270
271 <p>
272 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>development-sources</c> and contain
273 Andrew Morton's patch set. They include the experimental and bleeding-edge
274 features that are going to be included in the official kernel (or that are
275 going to be rejected because they set your box on fire). They are known to be
276 always moving at a fast pace and can change radically from one week to the
277 other; kernel hackers use them as a testing ground for new stuff.
278 </p>
279
280 <p>
281 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
282 <c>development-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
283 <c>mm-sources</c>. Be warned that this kernel is highly experimental and
284 doesn't always work as expected.
285 </p>
286
287 </body>
288 </section>
289 <section>
290 <title>openmosix-sources</title>
291 <body>
292
293 <p>
294 The <c>openmosix-sources</c> are patched to support the openMosix system
295 (like MOSIX but Open Source). For more information see
296 <uri>http://www.openmosix.org</uri>.
297 </p>
298
299 </body>
300 </section>
301 <section>
302 <title>pac-sources</title>
303 <body>
304
305 <p>
306 The <c>pac-sources</c> kernel tree is patched with Bernhard Rosenkraenzer's
307 (bero) patches. Be warned that this kernel is quite out of date and may be
308 removed from Portage soon.
309 </p>
310
311 </body>
312 </section>
313 <section>
314 <title>selinux-sources</title>
315 <body>
316
317 <p>
318 <c>selinux-sources</c> from <uri>http://www.nsa.gov/selinux</uri> are
319 patches for the security conscious to support the LSM (Linux Security
320 Modules) and the Flask Security Architecture.
321 </p>
322
323 </body>
324 </section>
325 <section>
326 <title>usermode-sources</title>
327 <body>
328
329 <p>
330 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
331 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
332 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
333 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
334 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
335 </p>
336
337 <p>
338 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
339 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
340 </p>
341
342 </body>
343 </section>
344 <section>
345 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
346 <body>
347
348 <p>
349 <c>win4lin-sources</c> are patched to support the userland win4lin tools
350 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
351 at almost native speeds. See <uri>http://www.netraverse.com/</uri> for more
352 information.
353 </p>
354
355 </body>
356 </section>
357 <section>
358 <title>wolk-sources</title>
359 <body>
360
361 <p>
362 <c>wolk-sources</c> contains the <e>Working Overloaded Linux Kernel</e> from
363 <uri>http://sourceforge.net/projects/wolk</uri>. This kernel contains
364 many patches of a wide variety, all combined into the kernel with
365 extreme care. This allows you to configure nearly every one into and out
366 of the kernel at compile time -- so the kernel will work with nearly any
367 combination of the patches.
368 </p>
369
370 <p>
371 If you need a certain combination of patches that you cannot find in other
372 kernel sources, WOLK is definitely worth a shot.
373 </p>
374
375 </body>
376 </section>
377 </chapter>
378
379 <chapter>
380 <title>Previously provided kernel packages</title>
381 <section>
382 <title>gaming-sources</title>
383 <body>
384
385 <p>
386 <c>gaming-sources</c> was a 2.4 kernel with a broken scheduler patch applied
387 which enhanced performance in games. It was removed from Portage because some
388 problems accumulated, and the scheduler work being done in Linux 2.6 at the
389 same time offered the same or even better performance.
390 </p>
391
392 </body>
393 </section>
394 <section>
395 <title>gs-sources</title>
396 <body>
397
398 <p>
399 <c>gs-sources</c>, once advertised as our server-style patch set, became a
400 testing ground for prerelease 2.4 kernels. Unfortunately, the maintainer
401 became inactive and this kernel detoriated with new system updates and
402 became out of date.
403 </p>
404
405 </body>
406 </section>
407 <section>
408 <title>ia64-sources</title>
409 <body>
410
411 <p>
412 <c>ia64-sources</c> were the IA64-specific kernel trees. They are however
413 obsoleted in favor of <c>development-sources</c>.
414 </p>
415
416 </body>
417 </section>
418 </chapter>
419
420 </guide>

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