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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 1.32 2005/06/09 18:56:35 fox2mike 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>1.9</version>
37 <date>2005-07-06</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 rsbac-sources</title>
158 <body>
159
160 <p>
161 <c>hardened-sources</c> is based on the official Linux kernel and is targeted
162 at our users running Gentoo on server systems. It provides patches for the
163 various subprojects of Gentoo Hardened (such as support for
164 <uri link="http://www.nsa.gov/selinux/">LSM/SELinux</uri> and
165 <uri link="http://grsecurity.net">grsecurity</uri>), together with
166 stability/security-enhancements. Like <c>gentoo-sources</c> it comes in 2.6
167 and 2.4 versions. Check <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for
168 more information.
169 </p>
170
171 <p>
172 <c>rsbac-sources</c> contains patches to use Rule Set Based Access Controls
173 (<uri link="http://www.rsbac.org">RSBAC</uri>) and comes in 2.4 and 2.6
174 flavours. It is maintained by the <uri link="/proj/en/hardened/rsbac/">RSBAC
175 project</uri>, a sub-project of Gentoo Hardened.
176 </p>
177
178 <impo>
179 These kernels provide powerful patches for enhanced security. Please read the
180 <uri link="/proj/en/hardened/">documentation</uri> before you use them.
181 </impo>
182
183 </body>
184 </section>
185 <section>
186 <title>Architecture dependent kernels</title>
187 <body>
188
189 <p>
190 <c>alpha-sources</c>, <c>hppa-sources</c>,<c>mips-sources</c>,
191 <c>pegasos-sources</c>, <c>sparc-sources</c> and <c>xbox-sources</c> are, as
192 their names suggest, patched to run best on specific architectures. They also
193 contain some of the patches for hardware and features support from the other
194 patch sets mentioned above and below.
195 </p>
196
197 </body>
198 </section>
199 </chapter>
200
201 <chapter>
202 <title>Unsupported kernel packages</title>
203 <section>
204 <body>
205
206 <p>
207 Now I'm going to try to briefly describe some of the other
208 <path>sys-kernel/*-sources</path> which you saw scroll by when you ran
209 <c>emerge -s sources</c>. Lets take them in alphabetical order. These
210 kernels are provided as a courtesy only and the various patch sets are not
211 supported by the Gentoo team.
212 </p>
213
214 </body>
215 </section>
216 <section>
217 <title>ck-sources</title>
218 <body>
219
220 <p>
221 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This patchset is
222 primarily designed to improve system responsiveness and interactivity and is
223 configurable for varying workloads (from servers to desktops). The patchset is
224 also quite mature and has been put through numerous iterations of development
225 and tuning. The emphasis of each release is on stability and security. Support
226 and information is available at <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> and in
227 <c>#ck</c> on <c>irc.oftc.net</c>.
228 </p>
229
230 </body>
231 </section>
232 <section>
233 <title>grsec-sources</title>
234 <body>
235
236 <p>
237 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source is patched with the latest grsecurity
238 updates (grsecurity version 2.0 and up) which includes, amongst other
239 security-related patches, support for PaX.
240 </p>
241
242 </body>
243 </section>
244 <section>
245 <title>mm-sources</title>
246 <body>
247
248 <p>
249 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>vanilla-sources</c> and contain
250 Andrew Morton's patch set. They include the experimental and bleeding-edge
251 features that are going to be included in the official kernel (or that are
252 going to be rejected because they set your box on fire). They are known to be
253 always moving at a fast pace and can change radically from one week to the
254 other; kernel hackers use them as a testing ground for new stuff.
255 </p>
256
257 <p>
258 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
259 <c>vanilla-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
260 <c>mm-sources</c>. Be warned that this kernel is highly experimental and
261 doesn't always work as expected.
262 </p>
263
264 </body>
265 </section>
266 <section>
267 <title>openmosix-sources</title>
268 <body>
269
270 <p>
271 The <c>openmosix-sources</c> are patched to support the openMosix system
272 (like MOSIX but Open Source). For more information see
273 <uri>http://www.openmosix.org</uri>.
274 </p>
275
276 </body>
277 </section>
278 <section>
279 <title>usermode-sources</title>
280 <body>
281
282 <p>
283 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
284 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
285 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
286 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
287 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
288 </p>
289
290 <p>
291 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
292 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
293 </p>
294
295 </body>
296 </section>
297 <section>
298 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
299 <body>
300
301 <p>
302 <c>win4lin-sources</c> are patched to support the userland win4lin tools
303 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
304 at almost native speeds. See <uri>http://www.netraverse.com/</uri> for more
305 information.
306 </p>
307
308 </body>
309 </section>
310 <section>
311 <title>suspend2-sources</title>
312 <body>
313
314 <p>
315 The <c>suspend2-sources</c> are patched with both genpatches
316 which includes the patches found in gentoo-sources, and <uri
317 link="http://www.suspend2.net">Software Suspend 2</uri> which is a new
318 and improved implementation of suspend-to-disk for the Linux kernel.
319 </p>
320
321 <p>
322 This kernel is recommended for laptop users who often rely on being able
323 to suspend their laptop and resume work elsewhere.
324 </p>
325
326 </body>
327 </section>
328 </chapter>
329
330 <chapter>
331 <title>Previously provided kernel packages</title>
332 <section>
333 <title>aa-sources</title>
334 <body>
335
336 <p>
337 <c>aa-sources</c> was a heavily modified kernel with all kinds of patches.
338 The upstream maintainer has stopped releasing kernel patchsets, this package
339 was removed as it went out of date.
340 </p>
341
342 </body>
343 </section>
344 <section>
345 <title>alpha-sources</title>
346 <body>
347
348 <p>
349 <c>alpha-sources</c> was a 2.4 kernel with patches applied to improve hardware
350 compatibility for the Alpha architecture. These patches have been developed
351 and included in the mainline kernel. Alpha users can now run any recent kernel
352 with no need for extra patches.
353 </p>
354
355 </body>
356 </section>
357 <section>
358 <title>development-sources</title>
359 <body>
360
361 <p>
362 <c>development-sources</c>, the official 2.6 kernel from kernel.org, can now
363 be found under the <c>vanilla-sources</c> package.
364 </p>
365
366 </body>
367 </section>
368 <section>
369 <title>gentoo-dev-sources</title>
370 <body>
371
372 <p>
373 <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c>, a 2.6 kernel patched with bug, security and
374 stability fixes, can now be found under the <c>gentoo-sources</c> package.
375 </p>
376
377 </body>
378 </section>
379 <section>
380 <title>hardened-dev-sources</title>
381 <body>
382
383 <p>
384 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> can now be found under the <c>hardened-sources</c>
385 package.
386 </p>
387
388 </body>
389 </section>
390 <section>
391 <title>rsbac-dev-sources</title>
392 <body>
393
394 <p>
395 The <c>rsbac-dev-sources</c> kernels can now be found under the
396 <c>rsbac-sources</c> package.
397 </p>
398
399 </body>
400 </section>
401 <section>
402 <title>selinux-sources</title>
403 <body>
404
405 <p>
406 <c>selinux-sources</c>, a 2.4 kernel including lots of security enhancements,
407 has been obsoleted by security development in the 2.6 tree. SELinux
408 functionality can be found in the <c>hardened-sources</c> package.
409 </p>
410
411 </body>
412 </section>
413 </chapter>
414
415 </guide>

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