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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 1.27 2005/04/26 03:11:23 vapier 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="greg_g@gentoo.org">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>1.5</version>
37 <date>2005-04-26</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</title>
79 <body>
80
81 <p>
82 For most users, we recommend the <c>gentoo-sources</c> kernel. Since the
83 2005.0 release, Gentoo Linux uses 2.6 as the default kernel. Unless you are
84 specifically using the 2.4 profile, <c>gentoo-sources</c> will be a 2.6 kernel
85 on <e>most</e> architectures.
86 </p>
87
88 <p>
89 <c>gentoo-sources</c> is a kernel based on Linux 2.6, with various kernel
90 patches included to fix security problems, kernel bugs, and to increase
91 compatibility with the more uncommon system architectures. Linux 2.6 is
92 the current official stable kernel tree, and development is progressing
93 rapidly. For highest performance, best hardware support, and its large
94 new feature set, we recommend 2.6 over its older 2.4 counterpart.
95 </p>
96
97 <p>
98 Some of the more uncommon system architectures are not fully compatible with
99 Linux 2.6, and some users prefer to the tried-and-tested Linux 2.4 kernel;
100 for this reason we provide <c>gentoo-sources</c> (the 2.4 version). The
101 patches included in this kernel are similar to those included in its 2.6
102 counterpart, plus a number of patches designed to add functionality and
103 improve performance. Linux 2.4 is currently not being developed further - only
104 bug and security fixes are being included in the newer releases. If you are
105 able to, we suggest that you upgrade to Linux 2.6. You may find the
106 <uri link="http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/migration-to-2.6.xml">migration
107 document</uri> useful.
108 </p>
109
110 <p>
111 The <c>gentoo-sources</c> package absorbs most of the resources of the Gentoo
112 kernel team. They are brought to you by a group of talented developers, which
113 can count on the expertise of popular kernel hacker Greg Kroah-Hartman,
114 maintainer of udev and responsible for the USB and PCI subsystems of the
115 official Linux kernel.
116 </p>
117
118 </body>
119 </section>
120 <section>
121 <title>Plain kernels: vanilla-sources</title>
122 <body>
123
124 <p>
125 The next kernel sources that many of you will probably be familiar with
126 as Linux users are the <c>vanilla-sources</c>. These are the official kernel
127 sources released on <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>. Please note that we do
128 not patch these kernels at all - these are purely for people who wish to run
129 a completely unmodified Linux kernel.
130 </p>
131
132 <p>
133 Similar to <c>gentoo-sources</c>, two versions of the kernel can be found
134 under this package: 2.4 and 2.6.
135 </p>
136
137 <p>
138 Linux 2.4 is maintained by Marcelo Tosatti. Linus Torvalds, the original
139 creator of Linux, handed maintainership of the Linux 2.4 branch over to
140 Marcelo when Linus went off to start developing the newer 2.6 kernel tree.
141 Marcelo has done a fine job of keeping 2.4 stable and secure, and is now
142 only accepting security and bug fixes into the 2.4 kernel tree. Actual
143 development happens in the Linux 2.6 kernel tree.
144 </p>
145
146 <p>
147 Linux 2.6 is maintained by Andrew Morton, who works closely with Linus
148 Torvalds to deliver a fast, powerful, and feature-packed Linux kernel.
149 Development is happening at incredible pace and this kernel tree is now very
150 mature.
151 </p>
152
153 </body>
154 </section>
155
156 <section>
157 <title>For servers: hardened-sources and hardened-dev-sources</title>
158 <body>
159
160 <p>
161 <c>hardened-sources</c> is based on Linux 2.4 and is targetted at our users
162 running Gentoo on server systems. It provides patches for the various
163 subprojects of Gentoo Hardened (such as support for LSM/SELinux and
164 GRSecurity), together with stability/security-enhancements. Check
165 <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for more information.
166 </p>
167
168 <p>
169 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> serves the same purpose as <c>hardened-sources</c>
170 but is based on the newer Linux 2.6 kernel base.
171 </p>
172
173 <p>
174 The following USE-flags can be set to select optional patches:
175 </p>
176
177 <table>
178 <tr><th>Flags</th><th>Description</th></tr>
179 <tr><ti>selinux</ti><ti>Substitute grSecurity with SELinux support</ti></tr>
180 </table>
181
182 </body>
183 </section>
184 <section>
185 <title>Architecture dependent kernels</title>
186 <body>
187
188 <p>
189 <c>alpha-sources</c>, <c>hppa-sources</c>, <c>hppa-dev-sources</c>,
190 <c>mips-sources</c>, <c>pegasos-dev-sources</c>, <c>sparc-sources</c>
191 and <c>xbox-sources</c> are, as their names suggest,
192 patched to run best on specific architectures. They also contain some of
193 the patches for hardware and features support from the other patch sets
194 mentioned above and below. A "-dev-" in the name of a kernel package means that
195 the sources use the 2.6 kernel instead of the 2.4 kernel.
196 </p>
197
198 </body>
199 </section>
200 </chapter>
201
202 <chapter>
203 <title>Unsupported kernel packages</title>
204 <section>
205 <body>
206
207 <p>
208 Now I'm going to try to briefly describe some of the other
209 <path>sys-kernel/*-sources</path> which you saw scroll by when you ran
210 <c>emerge -s sources</c>. Lets take them in alphabetical order. These
211 kernels are provided as a courtesy only and the various patch sets are not
212 supported by the Gentoo team.
213 </p>
214
215 </body>
216 </section>
217 <section>
218 <title>ck-sources</title>
219 <body>
220
221 <p>
222 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This patchset is
223 primarily designed to improve system responsiveness and interactivity and is
224 configurable for varying workloads (from servers to desktops). The patchset is
225 also quite mature and has been put through numerous iterations of development
226 and tuning. The emphasis of each release is on stability and security. Support
227 and information is available at <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> and in
228 <c>#ck</c> on <c>irc.oftc.net</c>.
229 </p>
230
231 </body>
232 </section>
233 <section>
234 <title>grsec-sources</title>
235 <body>
236
237 <p>
238 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source is patched with the latest GRSecurity
239 updates (GRSecurity version 2.0 and up) which includes, amongst other
240 security-related patches, support for PaX.
241 </p>
242
243 </body>
244 </section>
245 <section>
246 <title>mm-sources</title>
247 <body>
248
249 <p>
250 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>development-sources</c> and contain
251 Andrew Morton's patch set. They include the experimental and bleeding-edge
252 features that are going to be included in the official kernel (or that are
253 going to be rejected because they set your box on fire). They are known to be
254 always moving at a fast pace and can change radically from one week to the
255 other; kernel hackers use them as a testing ground for new stuff.
256 </p>
257
258 <p>
259 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
260 <c>development-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
261 <c>mm-sources</c>. Be warned that this kernel is highly experimental and
262 doesn't always work as expected.
263 </p>
264
265 </body>
266 </section>
267 <section>
268 <title>openmosix-sources</title>
269 <body>
270
271 <p>
272 The <c>openmosix-sources</c> are patched to support the openMosix system
273 (like MOSIX but Open Source). For more information see
274 <uri>http://www.openmosix.org</uri>.
275 </p>
276
277 </body>
278 </section>
279 <section>
280 <title>selinux-sources</title>
281 <body>
282
283 <p>
284 <c>selinux-sources</c> from <uri>http://www.nsa.gov/selinux</uri> are
285 patches for the security conscious to support the LSM (Linux Security
286 Modules) and the Flask Security Architecture.
287 </p>
288
289 </body>
290 </section>
291 <section>
292 <title>usermode-sources</title>
293 <body>
294
295 <p>
296 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
297 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
298 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
299 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
300 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
301 </p>
302
303 <p>
304 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
305 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
306 </p>
307
308 </body>
309 </section>
310 <section>
311 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
312 <body>
313
314 <p>
315 <c>win4lin-sources</c> are patched to support the userland win4lin tools
316 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
317 at almost native speeds. See <uri>http://www.netraverse.com/</uri> for more
318 information.
319 </p>
320
321 </body>
322 </section>
323 <section>
324 <title>wolk-sources</title>
325 <body>
326
327 <p>
328 <c>wolk-sources</c> contains the <e>Working Overloaded Linux Kernel</e> from
329 <uri>http://sourceforge.net/projects/wolk</uri>. This kernel contains
330 many patches of a wide variety, all combined into the kernel with
331 extreme care. This allows you to configure nearly every one into and out
332 of the kernel at compile time -- so the kernel will work with nearly any
333 combination of the patches.
334 </p>
335
336 <p>
337 If you need a certain combination of patches that you cannot find in other
338 kernel sources, WOLK is definitely worth a shot.
339 </p>
340
341 </body>
342 </section>
343 </chapter>
344
345 <chapter>
346 <title>Previously provided kernel packages</title>
347 <section>
348 <title>aa-sources</title>
349 <body>
350
351 <p>
352 <c>aa-sources</c> was a heavily modified kernel with all kinds of patches.
353 The upstream maintainer has stopped releasing kernel patchsets, this package
354 was removed as it went out of date.
355 </p>
356
357 </body>
358 </section>
359 <section>
360 <title>alpha-sources</title>
361 <body>
362
363 <p>
364 <c>alpha-sources</c> was a 2.4 kernel with patches applied to improve hardware
365 compatibility for the Alpha architecture. These patches have been developed
366 and included in the mainline kernel. Alpha users can now run any recent kernel
367 with no need for extra patches.
368 </p>
369
370 </body>
371 </section>
372 <section>
373 <title>development-sources</title>
374 <body>
375
376 <p>
377 <c>development-sources</c>, the official 2.6 kernel from kernel.org, can now
378 be found under the <c>vanilla-sources</c> package.
379 </p>
380
381 </body>
382 </section>
383 <section>
384 <title>gentoo-dev-sources</title>
385 <body>
386
387 <p>
388 <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c>, a 2.6 kernel patched with bug, security and
389 stability fixes, can now be found under the <c>gentoo-sources</c> package.
390 </p>
391
392 </body>
393 </section>
394 <section>
395 <title>rsbac-dev-sources</title>
396 <body>
397
398 <p>
399 The <c>rsbac-dev-sources</c> kernels can now be found under the
400 <c>rsbac-sources</c> package.
401 </p>
402
403 </body>
404 </section>
405 <section>
406 <title>selinux-sources</title>
407 <body>
408
409 <p>
410 <c>selinux-sources</c>, a 2.4 kernel including lots of security enhancements,
411 has been obseleted by security development in the 2.6 tree.
412 </p>
413
414 </body>
415 </section>
416 </chapter>
417
418 </guide>

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