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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 1.45 2006/11/30 20:08:34 nightmorph 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 <author title="Editor">
29 <mail link="fox2mike@gentoo.org">Shyam Mani</mail>
30 </author>
31
32 <abstract>
33 This document gives you an overview on all kernel sources that Gentoo
34 provides through Portage.
35 </abstract>
36
37 <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
38 <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
39 <license/>
40
41 <version>1.16</version>
42 <date>2006-12-03</date>
43
44 <chapter>
45 <title>Introduction</title>
46 <section>
47 <body>
48
49 <p>
50 As with everything else in Gentoo Linux, the philosophy of the Gentoo
51 Kernel team is to give you, the user, as much freedom of choice as
52 possible. If you take a look at the output of <c>emerge -s sources</c>
53 you see a large variety of kernels to choose from. In this document,
54 I will attempt to give you a brief rundown of the goals of each of the
55 patch sets, which we at Gentoo design, and also explain the other kernel
56 sources we make available to you.
57 </p>
58
59 <p>
60 Linux 2.4 is maintained by Marcelo Tosatti. Linus Torvalds, the original
61 creator of Linux, handed maintainership of the Linux 2.4 branch over to
62 Marcelo when Linus went off to start developing the newer 2.6 kernel tree.
63 Marcelo has done a fine job of keeping 2.4 stable and secure, and is now
64 only accepting security and bug fixes into the 2.4 kernel tree. Actual
65 development happens in the Linux 2.6 kernel tree.
66 </p>
67
68 <p>
69 Linux 2.6 is maintained by Andrew Morton, who works closely with Linus
70 Torvalds to deliver a fast, powerful, and feature-packed Linux kernel.
71 Development is happening at incredible pace and this kernel tree is now very
72 mature.
73 </p>
74
75 <p>
76 Some of the more uncommon system architectures are not fully compatible with
77 Linux 2.6, and some users prefer the tried-and-tested Linux 2.4 kernel. However,
78 please note that Linux 2.4 is currently not being developed further - only bug
79 and security fixes are being included in the newer releases. If you are able to,
80 we suggest that you upgrade to Linux 2.6. You may find the <uri
81 link="/doc/en/migration-to-2.6.xml">migration document</uri> useful.
82 </p>
83
84 </body>
85 </section>
86 </chapter>
87
88 <chapter>
89 <title>Supported kernel packages</title>
90 <section>
91 <title>genkernel</title>
92 <body>
93
94 <p>
95 <c>Genkernel</c> is a kernel toolset that can be used to autodetect your
96 hardware and configure your kernel automatically. This is usually recommended
97 for users who do not feel comfortable about compiling a kernel manually.
98 </p>
99
100 <p>
101 For more information, please read the <uri link="/doc/en/genkernel.xml">Gentoo
102 Linux Genkernel Guide</uri>.
103 </p>
104
105 </body>
106 </section>
107 <section>
108 <title>General purpose: gentoo-sources</title>
109 <body>
110
111 <p>
112 For most users, we recommend the <c>gentoo-sources</c> kernel. Since the
113 2005.0 release, Gentoo Linux uses 2.6 as the default kernel. Unless you are
114 specifically using the 2.4 profile, <c>gentoo-sources</c> will be a 2.6 kernel
115 on <e>most</e> architectures.
116 </p>
117
118 <p>
119 <c>gentoo-sources</c> is a kernel based on Linux 2.6, lightly patched to fix
120 security problems, kernel bugs, and to increase compatibility with the more
121 uncommon system architectures. Linux 2.6 is the current official stable kernel
122 tree, and development is progressing rapidly. For highest performance, best
123 hardware support, and its large new feature set, we recommend 2.6 over its older
124 2.4 counterpart.
125 </p>
126
127 <p>
128 The 2.4 <c>gentoo-sources</c> kernel patches are similar to those included in
129 its 2.6 counterpart, plus a number of patches designed to add functionality and
130 improve performance.
131 </p>
132
133 <p>
134 The <c>gentoo-sources</c> package absorbs most of the resources of the Gentoo
135 kernel team. They are brought to you by a group of talented developers, which
136 can count on the expertise of popular kernel hacker Greg Kroah-Hartman,
137 maintainer of udev and responsible for the USB and PCI subsystems of the
138 official Linux kernel.
139 </p>
140
141 </body>
142 </section>
143 <section>
144 <title>For servers: hardened-sources and rsbac-sources</title>
145 <body>
146
147 <p>
148 <c>hardened-sources</c> is based on the official Linux kernel and is targeted
149 at our users running Gentoo on server systems. It provides patches for the
150 various subprojects of Gentoo Hardened (such as support for
151 <uri link="http://www.nsa.gov/selinux/">LSM/SELinux</uri> and
152 <uri link="http://grsecurity.net">grsecurity</uri>), together with
153 stability/security-enhancements. Like <c>gentoo-sources</c> it comes in 2.6
154 and 2.4 versions. Check <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for
155 more information.
156 </p>
157
158 <p>
159 <c>rsbac-sources</c> contains patches to use Rule Set Based Access Controls
160 (<uri link="http://www.rsbac.org">RSBAC</uri>) and comes in 2.4 and 2.6
161 flavours. It is maintained by the <uri link="/proj/en/hardened/rsbac/">RSBAC
162 project</uri>, a sub-project of Gentoo Hardened.
163 </p>
164
165 <impo>
166 These kernels provide powerful patches for enhanced security. Please read the
167 <uri link="/proj/en/hardened/">documentation</uri> before you use them.
168 </impo>
169
170 </body>
171 </section>
172 <section>
173 <title>Architecture dependent kernels</title>
174 <body>
175
176 <p>
177 <c>hppa-sources</c>, <c>mips-sources</c>, <c>sh-sources</c> <c>sparc-sources</c>
178 and <c>xbox-sources</c> are, as their names suggest, patched to run best on
179 specific architectures. They also contain some of the patches for hardware and
180 features support from the other patch sets mentioned above and below.
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>ck-sources</title>
204 <body>
205
206 <p>
207 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This patchset is
208 primarily designed to improve system responsiveness and interactivity and is
209 configurable for varying workloads (from servers to desktops). The patchset is
210 also quite mature and has been put through numerous iterations of development
211 and tuning. The emphasis of each release is on stability and security. Support
212 and information is available at <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> and in
213 <c>#ck</c> on <c>irc.oftc.net</c>.
214 </p>
215
216 </body>
217 </section>
218 <section>
219 <title>git-sources</title>
220 <body>
221
222 <p>
223 The <c>git-sources</c> package tracks daily snapshots of the upstream
224 development kernel tree. You should run these kernels if you are interested in
225 kernel development or testing. Bugreports should go to the <uri
226 link="http://bugme.osdl.org/">Linux Kernel Bug Tracker</uri> or LKML (Linux
227 Kernel Mailing List).
228 </p>
229
230 </body>
231 </section>
232 <section>
233 <title>mm-sources</title>
234 <body>
235
236 <p>
237 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>vanilla-sources</c> and contain
238 Andrew Morton's patch set. They include the experimental and bleeding-edge
239 features that are going to be included in the official kernel (or that are
240 going to be rejected because they set your box on fire). They are known to be
241 always moving at a fast pace and can change radically from one week to the
242 other; kernel hackers use them as a testing ground for new stuff.
243 </p>
244
245 <p>
246 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
247 <c>vanilla-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
248 <c>mm-sources</c>. Be warned that this kernel is highly experimental and
249 doesn't always work as expected.
250 </p>
251
252 </body>
253 </section>
254 <section>
255 <title>openmosix-sources</title>
256 <body>
257
258 <p>
259 The <c>openmosix-sources</c> are patched to support the openMosix system
260 (a cluster oriented kernel patchset like MOSIX but Open Source). For more
261 information see <uri>http://www.openmosix.org</uri>.
262 </p>
263
264 </body>
265 </section>
266 <section>
267 <title>openvz-sources</title>
268 <body>
269
270 <p>
271 OpenVZ is a server virtualization solution built on Linux. OpenVZ creates
272 isolated, secure virtual private servers (VPSs) or virtual environments on a
273 single physical server enabling better server utilization and ensuring that
274 applications do not conflict. For more information, see
275 <uri>http://www.openvz.org</uri>.
276 </p>
277
278 </body>
279 </section>
280 <section>
281 <title>suspend2-sources</title>
282 <body>
283
284 <p>
285 The <c>suspend2-sources</c> are patched with both genpatches
286 which includes the patches found in gentoo-sources, and <uri
287 link="http://www.suspend2.net">Software Suspend 2</uri> which is a new
288 and improved implementation of suspend-to-disk for the Linux kernel.
289 </p>
290
291 <p>
292 This kernel is recommended for laptop users who often rely on being able
293 to suspend their laptop and resume work elsewhere.
294 </p>
295
296 </body>
297 </section>
298 <section>
299 <title>usermode-sources</title>
300 <body>
301
302 <p>
303 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
304 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
305 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
306 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
307 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
308 </p>
309
310 <p>
311 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
312 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
313 </p>
314
315 </body>
316 </section>
317 <section>
318 <title>vanilla-sources</title>
319 <body>
320
321 <p>
322 The next kernel sources that many of you will probably be familiar with as Linux
323 users are the <c>vanilla-sources</c>. These are the official kernel sources
324 released on <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>. Please note that we do not patch
325 these kernels at all - these are purely for people who wish to run a completely
326 unmodified Linux kernel. We recommend that you use <c>gentoo-sources</c>
327 instead.
328 </p>
329
330 <p>
331 Similar to <c>gentoo-sources</c>, two versions of the kernel can be found
332 under this package: 2.4 and 2.6.
333 </p>
334
335 </body>
336 </section>
337 </chapter>
338
339 <chapter>
340 <title>Previously provided kernel packages</title>
341 <section>
342 <title>aa-sources</title>
343 <body>
344
345 <p>
346 <c>aa-sources</c> was a heavily modified kernel with all kinds of patches.
347 The upstream maintainer has stopped releasing kernel patchsets, this package
348 was removed as it went out of date.
349 </p>
350
351 </body>
352 </section>
353 <section>
354 <title>alpha-sources</title>
355 <body>
356
357 <p>
358 <c>alpha-sources</c> was a 2.4 kernel with patches applied to improve hardware
359 compatibility for the Alpha architecture. These patches have been developed
360 and included in the mainline kernel. Alpha users can now run any recent kernel
361 with no need for extra patches.
362 </p>
363
364 </body>
365 </section>
366 <section>
367 <title>development-sources</title>
368 <body>
369
370 <p>
371 <c>development-sources</c>, the official 2.6 kernel from kernel.org, can now
372 be found under the <c>vanilla-sources</c> package.
373 </p>
374
375 </body>
376 </section>
377 <section>
378 <title>gentoo-dev-sources</title>
379 <body>
380
381 <p>
382 <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c>, a 2.6 kernel patched with bug, security and
383 stability fixes, can now be found under the <c>gentoo-sources</c> package.
384 </p>
385
386 </body>
387 </section>
388 <section>
389 <title>grsec-sources</title>
390 <body>
391
392 <p>
393 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source used to be patched with the latest
394 grsecurity updates (grsecurity version 2.0 and up) which included, amongst
395 other security-related patches, support for PaX. As grsecurity patches are
396 included in <c>hardened-sources</c>, this package is no longer in Portage.
397 </p>
398
399 </body>
400 </section>
401 <section>
402 <title>hardened-dev-sources</title>
403 <body>
404
405 <p>
406 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> can now be found under the <c>hardened-sources</c>
407 package.
408 </p>
409
410 </body>
411 </section>
412 <section>
413 <title>rsbac-dev-sources</title>
414 <body>
415
416 <p>
417 The <c>rsbac-dev-sources</c> kernels can now be found under the
418 <c>rsbac-sources</c> package.
419 </p>
420
421 </body>
422 </section>
423 <section>
424 <title>selinux-sources</title>
425 <body>
426
427 <p>
428 <c>selinux-sources</c>, a 2.4 kernel including lots of security enhancements,
429 has been obsoleted by security development in the 2.6 tree. SELinux
430 functionality can be found in the <c>hardened-sources</c> package.
431 </p>
432
433 </body>
434 </section>
435 <section>
436 <title>uclinux-sources</title>
437 <body>
438
439 <p>
440 The <c>uclinux-sources</c> are meant for CPUs without MMUs as well as embedded
441 devices. For more information, see <uri>http://www.uclinux.org</uri>. Lack of
442 security patches as well as hardware to test on were the reasons this is no longer
443 in the tree.
444 </p>
445
446 </body>
447 </section>
448 <section>
449 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
450 <body>
451
452 <p>
453 <c>win4lin-sources</c> were patched to support the userland win4lin tools
454 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
455 at almost native speeds. This was removed due to security issues.
456 </p>
457
458 </body>
459 </section>
460 </chapter>
461 </guide>

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