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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 1.51 2008/02/03 18:28:57 swift Exp $ -->
3
4 <!DOCTYPE guide SYSTEM "/dtd/guide.dtd">
5 <guide>
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>1.20</version>
45 <date>2008-02-03</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>git-sources</title>
208 <body>
209
210 <p>
211 The <c>git-sources</c> package tracks daily snapshots of the upstream
212 development kernel tree. You should run these kernels if you are interested in
213 kernel development or testing. Bugreports should go to the <uri
214 link="http://bugme.osdl.org/">Linux Kernel Bug Tracker</uri> or LKML (Linux
215 Kernel Mailing List).
216 </p>
217
218 </body>
219 </section>
220 <section>
221 <title>mm-sources</title>
222 <body>
223
224 <p>
225 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>vanilla-sources</c> and contain
226 Andrew Morton's patch set. They include the experimental and bleeding-edge
227 features that are going to be included in the official kernel (or that are
228 going to be rejected because they set your box on fire). They are known to be
229 always moving at a fast pace and can change radically from one week to the
230 other; kernel hackers use them as a testing ground for new stuff.
231 </p>
232
233 <p>
234 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
235 <c>vanilla-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
236 <c>mm-sources</c>. Be warned that this kernel is highly experimental and
237 doesn't always work as expected.
238 </p>
239
240 </body>
241 </section>
242 <section>
243 <title>openvz-sources</title>
244 <body>
245
246 <p>
247 OpenVZ is a server virtualization solution built on Linux. OpenVZ creates
248 isolated, secure virtual private servers (VPSs) or virtual environments on a
249 single physical server enabling better server utilization and ensuring that
250 applications do not conflict. For more information, see
251 <uri>http://www.openvz.org</uri>.
252 </p>
253
254 </body>
255 </section>
256 <section>
257 <title>tuxonice-sources</title>
258 <body>
259
260 <p>
261 The <c>tuxonice-sources</c> (formerly <c>suspend2-sources</c>) are patched with
262 both genpatches which includes the patches found in gentoo-sources, and <uri
263 link="http://www.tuxonice.net">TuxOnIce</uri> which is an improved
264 implementation of suspend-to-disk for the Linux kernel, formerly known as
265 <e>suspend2</e>.
266 </p>
267
268 <p>
269 This kernel is recommended for laptop users who often rely on being able
270 to suspend their laptop and resume work elsewhere.
271 </p>
272
273 </body>
274 </section>
275 <section>
276 <title>usermode-sources</title>
277 <body>
278
279 <p>
280 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
281 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
282 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
283 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
284 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
285 </p>
286
287 <p>
288 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
289 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
290 </p>
291
292 </body>
293 </section>
294 <section>
295 <title>vanilla-sources</title>
296 <body>
297
298 <p>
299 The next kernel sources that many of you will probably be familiar with as Linux
300 users are the <c>vanilla-sources</c>. These are the official kernel sources
301 released on <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>. Please note that we do not patch
302 these kernels at all - these are purely for people who wish to run a completely
303 unmodified Linux kernel. We recommend that you use <c>gentoo-sources</c>
304 instead.
305 </p>
306
307 <p>
308 Similar to <c>gentoo-sources</c>, two versions of the kernel can be found
309 under this package: 2.4 and 2.6.
310 </p>
311
312 </body>
313 </section>
314 </chapter>
315
316 <chapter>
317 <title>Previously provided kernel packages</title>
318 <section>
319 <title>aa-sources</title>
320 <body>
321
322 <p>
323 <c>aa-sources</c> was a heavily modified kernel with all kinds of patches.
324 The upstream maintainer has stopped releasing kernel patchsets, this package
325 was removed as it went out of date.
326 </p>
327
328 </body>
329 </section>
330 <section>
331 <title>alpha-sources</title>
332 <body>
333
334 <p>
335 <c>alpha-sources</c> was a 2.4 kernel with patches applied to improve hardware
336 compatibility for the Alpha architecture. These patches have been developed
337 and included in the mainline kernel. Alpha users can now run any recent kernel
338 with no need for extra patches.
339 </p>
340
341 </body>
342 </section>
343 <section>
344 <title>ck-sources</title>
345 <body>
346
347 <p>
348 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This patchset is
349 primarily designed to improve system responsiveness and interactivity and is
350 configurable for varying workloads (from servers to desktops). The patchset is
351 also quite mature and has been put through numerous iterations of development
352 and tuning. The emphasis of each release is on stability and security. Support
353 and information is available at <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> and in
354 <c>#ck</c> on <c>irc.oftc.net</c>.
355 </p>
356
357 </body>
358 </section>
359 <section>
360 <title>development-sources</title>
361 <body>
362
363 <p>
364 <c>development-sources</c>, the official 2.6 kernel from kernel.org, can now
365 be found under the <c>vanilla-sources</c> package.
366 </p>
367
368 </body>
369 </section>
370 <section>
371 <title>gentoo-dev-sources</title>
372 <body>
373
374 <p>
375 <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c>, a 2.6 kernel patched with bug, security and
376 stability fixes, can now be found under the <c>gentoo-sources</c> package.
377 </p>
378
379 </body>
380 </section>
381 <section>
382 <title>grsec-sources</title>
383 <body>
384
385 <p>
386 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source used to be patched with the latest
387 grsecurity updates (grsecurity version 2.0 and up) which included, amongst
388 other security-related patches, support for PaX. As grsecurity patches are
389 included in <c>hardened-sources</c>, this package is no longer in Portage.
390 </p>
391
392 </body>
393 </section>
394 <section>
395 <title>hardened-dev-sources</title>
396 <body>
397
398 <p>
399 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> can now be found under the <c>hardened-sources</c>
400 package.
401 </p>
402
403 </body>
404 </section>
405 <section>
406 <title>rsbac-dev-sources</title>
407 <body>
408
409 <p>
410 The <c>rsbac-dev-sources</c> kernels can now be found under the
411 <c>rsbac-sources</c> package.
412 </p>
413
414 </body>
415 </section>
416 <section>
417 <title>selinux-sources</title>
418 <body>
419
420 <p>
421 <c>selinux-sources</c>, a 2.4 kernel including lots of security enhancements,
422 has been obsoleted by security development in the 2.6 tree. SELinux
423 functionality can be found in the <c>hardened-sources</c> package.
424 </p>
425
426 </body>
427 </section>
428 <section>
429 <title>uclinux-sources</title>
430 <body>
431
432 <p>
433 The <c>uclinux-sources</c> are meant for CPUs without MMUs as well as embedded
434 devices. For more information, see <uri>http://www.uclinux.org</uri>. Lack of
435 security patches as well as hardware to test on were the reasons this is no longer
436 in the tree.
437 </p>
438
439 </body>
440 </section>
441 <section>
442 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
443 <body>
444
445 <p>
446 <c>win4lin-sources</c> were patched to support the userland win4lin tools
447 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
448 at almost native speeds. This was removed due to security issues.
449 </p>
450
451 </body>
452 </section>
453 </chapter>
454 </guide>

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