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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 1.48 2006/12/18 11:53:12 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 <author title="Editor">
32 <mail link="nightmorph@gentoo.org">Joshua Saddler</mail>
33 </author>
34
35 <abstract>
36 This document gives you an overview on all kernel sources that Gentoo
37 provides through Portage.
38 </abstract>
39
40 <!-- The content of this document is licensed under the CC-BY-SA license -->
41 <!-- See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5 -->
42 <license/>
43
44 <version>1.18</version>
45 <date>2007-02-17</date>
46
47 <chapter>
48 <title>Introduction</title>
49 <section>
50 <body>
51
52 <p>
53 As with everything else in Gentoo Linux, the philosophy of the Gentoo
54 Kernel team is to give you, the user, as much freedom of choice as
55 possible. If you take a look at the output of <c>emerge -s sources</c>
56 you see a large variety of kernels to choose from. In this document,
57 I will attempt to give you a brief rundown of the goals of each of the
58 patch sets, which we at Gentoo design, and also explain the other kernel
59 sources we make available to you.
60 </p>
61
62 <p>
63 Linux 2.4 is maintained by Willy Tarreau. Linus Torvalds, the original creator
64 of Linux, handed maintainership of the Linux 2.4 branch over to Marcelo Tosatti
65 when Linus went off to start developing the newer 2.6 kernel tree. Marcelo did a
66 fine job of keeping 2.4 stable and secure, and has since handed over
67 maintainership to Willy. Note that only security and bug fixes are accepted into
68 the 2.4 kernel tree. Actual development happens in the Linux 2.6 kernel tree.
69 </p>
70
71 <p>
72 Linux 2.6 is maintained by Andrew Morton, who works closely with Linus
73 Torvalds to deliver a fast, powerful, and feature-packed Linux kernel.
74 Development is happening at incredible pace and this kernel tree is now very
75 mature.
76 </p>
77
78 <p>
79 Some of the more uncommon system architectures are not fully compatible with
80 Linux 2.6, and some users prefer the tried-and-tested Linux 2.4 kernel. However,
81 please note that Linux 2.4 is currently not being developed further - only bug
82 and security fixes are being included in the newer releases. If you are able to,
83 we suggest that you upgrade to Linux 2.6. You may find the <uri
84 link="/doc/en/migration-to-2.6.xml">migration document</uri> useful.
85 </p>
86
87 </body>
88 </section>
89 </chapter>
90
91 <chapter>
92 <title>Supported kernel packages</title>
93 <section>
94 <title>genkernel</title>
95 <body>
96
97 <p>
98 <c>Genkernel</c> is a kernel toolset that can be used to autodetect your
99 hardware and configure your kernel automatically. This is usually recommended
100 for users who do not feel comfortable about compiling a kernel manually.
101 </p>
102
103 <p>
104 For more information, please read the <uri link="/doc/en/genkernel.xml">Gentoo
105 Linux Genkernel Guide</uri>.
106 </p>
107
108 </body>
109 </section>
110 <section>
111 <title>General purpose: gentoo-sources</title>
112 <body>
113
114 <p>
115 For most users, we recommend the <c>gentoo-sources</c> kernel. Since the
116 2005.0 release, Gentoo Linux uses 2.6 as the default kernel. Unless you are
117 specifically using the 2.4 profile, <c>gentoo-sources</c> will be a 2.6 kernel
118 on <e>most</e> architectures.
119 </p>
120
121 <p>
122 <c>gentoo-sources</c> is a kernel based on Linux 2.6, lightly patched to fix
123 security problems, kernel bugs, and to increase compatibility with the more
124 uncommon system architectures. Linux 2.6 is the current official stable kernel
125 tree, and development is progressing rapidly. For highest performance, best
126 hardware support, and its large new feature set, we recommend 2.6 over its older
127 2.4 counterpart.
128 </p>
129
130 <p>
131 The 2.4 <c>gentoo-sources</c> kernel patches are similar to those included in
132 its 2.6 counterpart, plus a number of patches designed to add functionality and
133 improve performance.
134 </p>
135
136 <p>
137 The <c>gentoo-sources</c> package absorbs most of the resources of the Gentoo
138 kernel team. They are brought to you by a group of talented developers, which
139 can count on the expertise of popular kernel hacker Greg Kroah-Hartman,
140 maintainer of udev and responsible for the USB and PCI subsystems of the
141 official Linux kernel.
142 </p>
143
144 </body>
145 </section>
146 <section>
147 <title>For servers: hardened-sources and rsbac-sources</title>
148 <body>
149
150 <p>
151 <c>hardened-sources</c> is based on the official Linux kernel and is targeted
152 at our users running Gentoo on server systems. It provides patches for the
153 various subprojects of Gentoo Hardened (such as support for
154 <uri link="http://www.nsa.gov/selinux/">LSM/SELinux</uri> and
155 <uri link="http://grsecurity.net">grsecurity</uri>), together with
156 stability/security-enhancements. Like <c>gentoo-sources</c> it comes in 2.6
157 and 2.4 versions. Check <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for
158 more information.
159 </p>
160
161 <p>
162 <c>rsbac-sources</c> contains patches to use Rule Set Based Access Controls
163 (<uri link="http://www.rsbac.org">RSBAC</uri>) and comes in 2.4 and 2.6
164 flavours. It is maintained by the <uri link="/proj/en/hardened/rsbac/">RSBAC
165 project</uri>, a sub-project of Gentoo Hardened.
166 </p>
167
168 <impo>
169 These kernels provide powerful patches for enhanced security. Please read the
170 <uri link="/proj/en/hardened/">documentation</uri> before you use them.
171 </impo>
172
173 </body>
174 </section>
175 <section>
176 <title>Architecture dependent kernels</title>
177 <body>
178
179 <p>
180 <c>hppa-sources</c>, <c>mips-sources</c>, <c>sh-sources</c>,
181 <c>sparc-sources</c>, and <c>xbox-sources</c> are, as their names suggest,
182 patched to run best on specific architectures. They also contain some of the
183 patches for hardware and features support from the other patch sets mentioned
184 above and below.
185 </p>
186
187 </body>
188 </section>
189 </chapter>
190
191 <chapter>
192 <title>Unsupported kernel packages</title>
193 <section>
194 <body>
195
196 <p>
197 Now I'm going to try to briefly describe some of the other
198 <path>sys-kernel/*-sources</path> which you saw scroll by when you ran
199 <c>emerge -s sources</c>. Lets take them in alphabetical order. These
200 kernels are provided as a courtesy only and the various patch sets are not
201 supported by the Gentoo team.
202 </p>
203
204 </body>
205 </section>
206 <section>
207 <title>ck-sources</title>
208 <body>
209
210 <p>
211 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This patchset is
212 primarily designed to improve system responsiveness and interactivity and is
213 configurable for varying workloads (from servers to desktops). The patchset is
214 also quite mature and has been put through numerous iterations of development
215 and tuning. The emphasis of each release is on stability and security. Support
216 and information is available at <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> and in
217 <c>#ck</c> on <c>irc.oftc.net</c>.
218 </p>
219
220 </body>
221 </section>
222 <section>
223 <title>git-sources</title>
224 <body>
225
226 <p>
227 The <c>git-sources</c> package tracks daily snapshots of the upstream
228 development kernel tree. You should run these kernels if you are interested in
229 kernel development or testing. Bugreports should go to the <uri
230 link="http://bugme.osdl.org/">Linux Kernel Bug Tracker</uri> or LKML (Linux
231 Kernel Mailing List).
232 </p>
233
234 </body>
235 </section>
236 <section>
237 <title>mm-sources</title>
238 <body>
239
240 <p>
241 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>vanilla-sources</c> and contain
242 Andrew Morton's patch set. They include the experimental and bleeding-edge
243 features that are going to be included in the official kernel (or that are
244 going to be rejected because they set your box on fire). They are known to be
245 always moving at a fast pace and can change radically from one week to the
246 other; kernel hackers use them as a testing ground for new stuff.
247 </p>
248
249 <p>
250 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
251 <c>vanilla-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
252 <c>mm-sources</c>. Be warned that this kernel is highly experimental and
253 doesn't always work as expected.
254 </p>
255
256 </body>
257 </section>
258 <section>
259 <title>openvz-sources</title>
260 <body>
261
262 <p>
263 OpenVZ is a server virtualization solution built on Linux. OpenVZ creates
264 isolated, secure virtual private servers (VPSs) or virtual environments on a
265 single physical server enabling better server utilization and ensuring that
266 applications do not conflict. For more information, see
267 <uri>http://www.openvz.org</uri>.
268 </p>
269
270 </body>
271 </section>
272 <section>
273 <title>suspend2-sources</title>
274 <body>
275
276 <p>
277 The <c>suspend2-sources</c> are patched with both genpatches
278 which includes the patches found in gentoo-sources, and <uri
279 link="http://www.suspend2.net">Software Suspend 2</uri> which is a new
280 and improved implementation of suspend-to-disk for the Linux kernel.
281 </p>
282
283 <p>
284 This kernel is recommended for laptop users who often rely on being able
285 to suspend their laptop and resume work elsewhere.
286 </p>
287
288 </body>
289 </section>
290 <section>
291 <title>usermode-sources</title>
292 <body>
293
294 <p>
295 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
296 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
297 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
298 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
299 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
300 </p>
301
302 <p>
303 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
304 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
305 </p>
306
307 </body>
308 </section>
309 <section>
310 <title>vanilla-sources</title>
311 <body>
312
313 <p>
314 The next kernel sources that many of you will probably be familiar with as Linux
315 users are the <c>vanilla-sources</c>. These are the official kernel sources
316 released on <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>. Please note that we do not patch
317 these kernels at all - these are purely for people who wish to run a completely
318 unmodified Linux kernel. We recommend that you use <c>gentoo-sources</c>
319 instead.
320 </p>
321
322 <p>
323 Similar to <c>gentoo-sources</c>, two versions of the kernel can be found
324 under this package: 2.4 and 2.6.
325 </p>
326
327 </body>
328 </section>
329 </chapter>
330
331 <chapter>
332 <title>Previously provided kernel packages</title>
333 <section>
334 <title>aa-sources</title>
335 <body>
336
337 <p>
338 <c>aa-sources</c> was a heavily modified kernel with all kinds of patches.
339 The upstream maintainer has stopped releasing kernel patchsets, this package
340 was removed as it went out of date.
341 </p>
342
343 </body>
344 </section>
345 <section>
346 <title>alpha-sources</title>
347 <body>
348
349 <p>
350 <c>alpha-sources</c> was a 2.4 kernel with patches applied to improve hardware
351 compatibility for the Alpha architecture. These patches have been developed
352 and included in the mainline kernel. Alpha users can now run any recent kernel
353 with no need for extra patches.
354 </p>
355
356 </body>
357 </section>
358 <section>
359 <title>development-sources</title>
360 <body>
361
362 <p>
363 <c>development-sources</c>, the official 2.6 kernel from kernel.org, can now
364 be found under the <c>vanilla-sources</c> package.
365 </p>
366
367 </body>
368 </section>
369 <section>
370 <title>gentoo-dev-sources</title>
371 <body>
372
373 <p>
374 <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c>, a 2.6 kernel patched with bug, security and
375 stability fixes, can now be found under the <c>gentoo-sources</c> package.
376 </p>
377
378 </body>
379 </section>
380 <section>
381 <title>grsec-sources</title>
382 <body>
383
384 <p>
385 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source used to be patched with the latest
386 grsecurity updates (grsecurity version 2.0 and up) which included, amongst
387 other security-related patches, support for PaX. As grsecurity patches are
388 included in <c>hardened-sources</c>, this package is no longer in Portage.
389 </p>
390
391 </body>
392 </section>
393 <section>
394 <title>hardened-dev-sources</title>
395 <body>
396
397 <p>
398 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> can now be found under the <c>hardened-sources</c>
399 package.
400 </p>
401
402 </body>
403 </section>
404 <section>
405 <title>rsbac-dev-sources</title>
406 <body>
407
408 <p>
409 The <c>rsbac-dev-sources</c> kernels can now be found under the
410 <c>rsbac-sources</c> package.
411 </p>
412
413 </body>
414 </section>
415 <section>
416 <title>selinux-sources</title>
417 <body>
418
419 <p>
420 <c>selinux-sources</c>, a 2.4 kernel including lots of security enhancements,
421 has been obsoleted by security development in the 2.6 tree. SELinux
422 functionality can be found in the <c>hardened-sources</c> package.
423 </p>
424
425 </body>
426 </section>
427 <section>
428 <title>uclinux-sources</title>
429 <body>
430
431 <p>
432 The <c>uclinux-sources</c> are meant for CPUs without MMUs as well as embedded
433 devices. For more information, see <uri>http://www.uclinux.org</uri>. Lack of
434 security patches as well as hardware to test on were the reasons this is no longer
435 in the tree.
436 </p>
437
438 </body>
439 </section>
440 <section>
441 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
442 <body>
443
444 <p>
445 <c>win4lin-sources</c> were patched to support the userland win4lin tools
446 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
447 at almost native speeds. This was removed due to security issues.
448 </p>
449
450 </body>
451 </section>
452 </chapter>
453 </guide>

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