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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 1.28 2005/04/26 05:13:34 alin 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>1.6</version>
37 <date>2005-05-12</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, hardened-dev-sources and
158 rsbac-sources</title>
159 <body>
160
161 <p>
162 <c>hardened-sources</c> is based on Linux 2.4 and is targetted at our users
163 running Gentoo on server systems. It provides patches for the various
164 subprojects of Gentoo Hardened (such as support for LSM/SELinux and
165 GRSecurity), together with stability/security-enhancements. Check
166 <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for more information.
167 </p>
168
169 <p>
170 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> serves the same purpose as <c>hardened-sources</c>
171 but is based on the newer Linux 2.6 kernel base.
172 </p>
173
174 <p>
175 <c>rsbac-sources</c> contains patches to use Rule Set Based Access Controls
176 (RSBAC) and comes in 2.4 and 2.6 flavours. It is maintained by the
177 <uri link="/proj/en/hardened/rsbac/">RSBAC project</uri>, a subproject of
178 Gentoo Hardened.
179 </p>
180
181 <impo>
182 These kernels provide powerful patches for enhanced security. Please read the
183 <uri link="/proj/en/hardened/">documentation</uri> before you use them.
184 </impo>
185
186 </body>
187 </section>
188 <section>
189 <title>Architecture dependent kernels</title>
190 <body>
191
192 <p>
193 <c>alpha-sources</c>, <c>hppa-sources</c>, <c>hppa-dev-sources</c>,
194 <c>mips-sources</c>, <c>pegasos-dev-sources</c>, <c>sparc-sources</c>
195 and <c>xbox-sources</c> are, as their names suggest,
196 patched to run best on specific architectures. They also contain some of
197 the patches for hardware and features support from the other patch sets
198 mentioned above and below. A "-dev-" in the name of a kernel package means that
199 the sources use the 2.6 kernel instead of the 2.4 kernel.
200 </p>
201
202 </body>
203 </section>
204 </chapter>
205
206 <chapter>
207 <title>Unsupported kernel packages</title>
208 <section>
209 <body>
210
211 <p>
212 Now I'm going to try to briefly describe some of the other
213 <path>sys-kernel/*-sources</path> which you saw scroll by when you ran
214 <c>emerge -s sources</c>. Lets take them in alphabetical order. These
215 kernels are provided as a courtesy only and the various patch sets are not
216 supported by the Gentoo team.
217 </p>
218
219 </body>
220 </section>
221 <section>
222 <title>ck-sources</title>
223 <body>
224
225 <p>
226 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This patchset is
227 primarily designed to improve system responsiveness and interactivity and is
228 configurable for varying workloads (from servers to desktops). The patchset is
229 also quite mature and has been put through numerous iterations of development
230 and tuning. The emphasis of each release is on stability and security. Support
231 and information is available at <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> and in
232 <c>#ck</c> on <c>irc.oftc.net</c>.
233 </p>
234
235 </body>
236 </section>
237 <section>
238 <title>grsec-sources</title>
239 <body>
240
241 <p>
242 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source is patched with the latest GRSecurity
243 updates (GRSecurity version 2.0 and up) which includes, amongst other
244 security-related patches, support for PaX.
245 </p>
246
247 </body>
248 </section>
249 <section>
250 <title>mm-sources</title>
251 <body>
252
253 <p>
254 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>vanilla-sources</c> and contain
255 Andrew Morton's patch set. They include the experimental and bleeding-edge
256 features that are going to be included in the official kernel (or that are
257 going to be rejected because they set your box on fire). They are known to be
258 always moving at a fast pace and can change radically from one week to the
259 other; kernel hackers use them as a testing ground for new stuff.
260 </p>
261
262 <p>
263 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
264 <c>vanilla-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
265 <c>mm-sources</c>. Be warned that this kernel is highly experimental and
266 doesn't always work as expected.
267 </p>
268
269 </body>
270 </section>
271 <section>
272 <title>openmosix-sources</title>
273 <body>
274
275 <p>
276 The <c>openmosix-sources</c> are patched to support the openMosix system
277 (like MOSIX but Open Source). For more information see
278 <uri>http://www.openmosix.org</uri>.
279 </p>
280
281 </body>
282 </section>
283 <section>
284 <title>usermode-sources</title>
285 <body>
286
287 <p>
288 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
289 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
290 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
291 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
292 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
293 </p>
294
295 <p>
296 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
297 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
298 </p>
299
300 </body>
301 </section>
302 <section>
303 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
304 <body>
305
306 <p>
307 <c>win4lin-sources</c> are patched to support the userland win4lin tools
308 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
309 at almost native speeds. See <uri>http://www.netraverse.com/</uri> for more
310 information.
311 </p>
312
313 </body>
314 </section>
315 <section>
316 <title>wolk-sources</title>
317 <body>
318
319 <p>
320 <c>wolk-sources</c> contains the <e>Working Overloaded Linux Kernel</e> from
321 <uri>http://sourceforge.net/projects/wolk</uri>. This kernel contains
322 many patches of a wide variety, all combined into the kernel with
323 extreme care. This allows you to configure nearly every one into and out
324 of the kernel at compile time -- so the kernel will work with nearly any
325 combination of the patches.
326 </p>
327
328 <p>
329 If you need a certain combination of patches that you cannot find in other
330 kernel sources, WOLK is definitely worth a shot.
331 </p>
332
333 </body>
334 </section>
335 </chapter>
336
337 <chapter>
338 <title>Previously provided kernel packages</title>
339 <section>
340 <title>aa-sources</title>
341 <body>
342
343 <p>
344 <c>aa-sources</c> was a heavily modified kernel with all kinds of patches.
345 The upstream maintainer has stopped releasing kernel patchsets, this package
346 was removed as it went out of date.
347 </p>
348
349 </body>
350 </section>
351 <section>
352 <title>alpha-sources</title>
353 <body>
354
355 <p>
356 <c>alpha-sources</c> was a 2.4 kernel with patches applied to improve hardware
357 compatibility for the Alpha architecture. These patches have been developed
358 and included in the mainline kernel. Alpha users can now run any recent kernel
359 with no need for extra patches.
360 </p>
361
362 </body>
363 </section>
364 <section>
365 <title>development-sources</title>
366 <body>
367
368 <p>
369 <c>development-sources</c>, the official 2.6 kernel from kernel.org, can now
370 be found under the <c>vanilla-sources</c> package.
371 </p>
372
373 </body>
374 </section>
375 <section>
376 <title>gentoo-dev-sources</title>
377 <body>
378
379 <p>
380 <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c>, a 2.6 kernel patched with bug, security and
381 stability fixes, can now be found under the <c>gentoo-sources</c> package.
382 </p>
383
384 </body>
385 </section>
386 <section>
387 <title>rsbac-dev-sources</title>
388 <body>
389
390 <p>
391 The <c>rsbac-dev-sources</c> kernels can now be found under the
392 <c>rsbac-sources</c> package.
393 </p>
394
395 </body>
396 </section>
397 <section>
398 <title>selinux-sources</title>
399 <body>
400
401 <p>
402 <c>selinux-sources</c>, a 2.4 kernel including lots of security enhancements,
403 has been obseleted by security development in the 2.6 tree. SELinux
404 functionality can be found in the <c>hardened-sources</c> and
405 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> packages.
406 </p>
407
408 </body>
409 </section>
410 </chapter>
411
412 </guide>

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