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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 1.33 2005/07/06 15:30:58 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="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>1.10</version>
37 <date>2005-07-26</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="/doc/en/migration-to-2.6.xml">migration document</uri> useful.
107 </p>
108
109 <p>
110 The <c>gentoo-sources</c> package absorbs most of the resources of the Gentoo
111 kernel team. They are brought to you by a group of talented developers, which
112 can count on the expertise of popular kernel hacker Greg Kroah-Hartman,
113 maintainer of udev and responsible for the USB and PCI subsystems of the
114 official Linux kernel.
115 </p>
116
117 </body>
118 </section>
119 <section>
120 <title>Plain kernels: vanilla-sources</title>
121 <body>
122
123 <p>
124 The next kernel sources that many of you will probably be familiar with
125 as Linux users are the <c>vanilla-sources</c>. These are the official kernel
126 sources released on <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>. Please note that we do
127 not patch these kernels at all - these are purely for people who wish to run
128 a completely unmodified Linux kernel.
129 </p>
130
131 <p>
132 Similar to <c>gentoo-sources</c>, two versions of the kernel can be found
133 under this package: 2.4 and 2.6.
134 </p>
135
136 <p>
137 Linux 2.4 is maintained by Marcelo Tosatti. Linus Torvalds, the original
138 creator of Linux, handed maintainership of the Linux 2.4 branch over to
139 Marcelo when Linus went off to start developing the newer 2.6 kernel tree.
140 Marcelo has done a fine job of keeping 2.4 stable and secure, and is now
141 only accepting security and bug fixes into the 2.4 kernel tree. Actual
142 development happens in the Linux 2.6 kernel tree.
143 </p>
144
145 <p>
146 Linux 2.6 is maintained by Andrew Morton, who works closely with Linus
147 Torvalds to deliver a fast, powerful, and feature-packed Linux kernel.
148 Development is happening at incredible pace and this kernel tree is now very
149 mature.
150 </p>
151
152 </body>
153 </section>
154
155 <section>
156 <title>For servers: hardened-sources and rsbac-sources</title>
157 <body>
158
159 <p>
160 <c>hardened-sources</c> is based on the official Linux kernel and is targeted
161 at our users running Gentoo on server systems. It provides patches for the
162 various subprojects of Gentoo Hardened (such as support for
163 <uri link="http://www.nsa.gov/selinux/">LSM/SELinux</uri> and
164 <uri link="http://grsecurity.net">grsecurity</uri>), together with
165 stability/security-enhancements. Like <c>gentoo-sources</c> it comes in 2.6
166 and 2.4 versions. Check <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for
167 more information.
168 </p>
169
170 <p>
171 <c>rsbac-sources</c> contains patches to use Rule Set Based Access Controls
172 (<uri link="http://www.rsbac.org">RSBAC</uri>) and comes in 2.4 and 2.6
173 flavours. It is maintained by the <uri link="/proj/en/hardened/rsbac/">RSBAC
174 project</uri>, a sub-project of Gentoo Hardened.
175 </p>
176
177 <impo>
178 These kernels provide powerful patches for enhanced security. Please read the
179 <uri link="/proj/en/hardened/">documentation</uri> before you use them.
180 </impo>
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>mips-sources</c>,
190 <c>pegasos-sources</c>, <c>sparc-sources</c> and <c>xbox-sources</c> are, as
191 their names suggest, patched to run best on specific architectures. They also
192 contain some of the patches for hardware and features support from the other
193 patch sets mentioned above and below.
194 </p>
195
196 </body>
197 </section>
198 </chapter>
199
200 <chapter>
201 <title>Unsupported kernel packages</title>
202 <section>
203 <body>
204
205 <p>
206 Now I'm going to try to briefly describe some of the other
207 <path>sys-kernel/*-sources</path> which you saw scroll by when you ran
208 <c>emerge -s sources</c>. Lets take them in alphabetical order. These
209 kernels are provided as a courtesy only and the various patch sets are not
210 supported by the Gentoo team.
211 </p>
212
213 </body>
214 </section>
215 <section>
216 <title>ck-sources</title>
217 <body>
218
219 <p>
220 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This patchset is
221 primarily designed to improve system responsiveness and interactivity and is
222 configurable for varying workloads (from servers to desktops). The patchset is
223 also quite mature and has been put through numerous iterations of development
224 and tuning. The emphasis of each release is on stability and security. Support
225 and information is available at <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> and in
226 <c>#ck</c> on <c>irc.oftc.net</c>.
227 </p>
228
229 </body>
230 </section>
231 <section>
232 <title>grsec-sources</title>
233 <body>
234
235 <p>
236 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source is patched with the latest grsecurity
237 updates (grsecurity version 2.0 and up) which includes, amongst other
238 security-related patches, support for PaX.
239 </p>
240
241 </body>
242 </section>
243 <section>
244 <title>mm-sources</title>
245 <body>
246
247 <p>
248 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>vanilla-sources</c> and contain
249 Andrew Morton's patch set. They include the experimental and bleeding-edge
250 features that are going to be included in the official kernel (or that are
251 going to be rejected because they set your box on fire). They are known to be
252 always moving at a fast pace and can change radically from one week to the
253 other; kernel hackers use them as a testing ground for new stuff.
254 </p>
255
256 <p>
257 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
258 <c>vanilla-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
259 <c>mm-sources</c>. Be warned that this kernel is highly experimental and
260 doesn't always work as expected.
261 </p>
262
263 </body>
264 </section>
265 <section>
266 <title>openmosix-sources</title>
267 <body>
268
269 <p>
270 The <c>openmosix-sources</c> are patched to support the openMosix system
271 (like MOSIX but Open Source). For more information see
272 <uri>http://www.openmosix.org</uri>.
273 </p>
274
275 </body>
276 </section>
277 <section>
278 <title>usermode-sources</title>
279 <body>
280
281 <p>
282 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
283 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
284 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
285 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
286 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
287 </p>
288
289 <p>
290 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
291 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
292 </p>
293
294 </body>
295 </section>
296 <section>
297 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
298 <body>
299
300 <p>
301 <c>win4lin-sources</c> are patched to support the userland win4lin tools
302 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
303 at almost native speeds. See <uri>http://www.netraverse.com/</uri> for more
304 information.
305 </p>
306
307 </body>
308 </section>
309 <section>
310 <title>suspend2-sources</title>
311 <body>
312
313 <p>
314 The <c>suspend2-sources</c> are patched with both genpatches
315 which includes the patches found in gentoo-sources, and <uri
316 link="http://www.suspend2.net">Software Suspend 2</uri> which is a new
317 and improved implementation of suspend-to-disk for the Linux kernel.
318 </p>
319
320 <p>
321 This kernel is recommended for laptop users who often rely on being able
322 to suspend their laptop and resume work elsewhere.
323 </p>
324
325 </body>
326 </section>
327 </chapter>
328
329 <chapter>
330 <title>Previously provided kernel packages</title>
331 <section>
332 <title>aa-sources</title>
333 <body>
334
335 <p>
336 <c>aa-sources</c> was a heavily modified kernel with all kinds of patches.
337 The upstream maintainer has stopped releasing kernel patchsets, this package
338 was removed as it went out of date.
339 </p>
340
341 </body>
342 </section>
343 <section>
344 <title>alpha-sources</title>
345 <body>
346
347 <p>
348 <c>alpha-sources</c> was a 2.4 kernel with patches applied to improve hardware
349 compatibility for the Alpha architecture. These patches have been developed
350 and included in the mainline kernel. Alpha users can now run any recent kernel
351 with no need for extra patches.
352 </p>
353
354 </body>
355 </section>
356 <section>
357 <title>development-sources</title>
358 <body>
359
360 <p>
361 <c>development-sources</c>, the official 2.6 kernel from kernel.org, can now
362 be found under the <c>vanilla-sources</c> package.
363 </p>
364
365 </body>
366 </section>
367 <section>
368 <title>gentoo-dev-sources</title>
369 <body>
370
371 <p>
372 <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c>, a 2.6 kernel patched with bug, security and
373 stability fixes, can now be found under the <c>gentoo-sources</c> package.
374 </p>
375
376 </body>
377 </section>
378 <section>
379 <title>hardened-dev-sources</title>
380 <body>
381
382 <p>
383 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> can now be found under the <c>hardened-sources</c>
384 package.
385 </p>
386
387 </body>
388 </section>
389 <section>
390 <title>rsbac-dev-sources</title>
391 <body>
392
393 <p>
394 The <c>rsbac-dev-sources</c> kernels can now be found under the
395 <c>rsbac-sources</c> package.
396 </p>
397
398 </body>
399 </section>
400 <section>
401 <title>selinux-sources</title>
402 <body>
403
404 <p>
405 <c>selinux-sources</c>, a 2.4 kernel including lots of security enhancements,
406 has been obsoleted by security development in the 2.6 tree. SELinux
407 functionality can be found in the <c>hardened-sources</c> package.
408 </p>
409
410 </body>
411 </section>
412 </chapter>
413
414 </guide>

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