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1 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
2 <!-- $Header: /home/cvsroot/gentoo/xml/htdocs/doc/en/gentoo-kernel.xml,v 1.5 2004/02/09 19:18:00 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="carl@gentoo.org">Carl Anderson</mail>
15 </author>
16 <author title="Editor">
17 <mail link="peesh@gentoo.org">Jorge Paulo</mail>
18 </author>
19
20 <abstract>
21 This document gives you an overview on all kernelsources that Gentoo
22 provides through Portage.
23 </abstract>
24
25 <license/>
26
27 <version>0.3</version>
28 <date>February 9, 2004</date>
29
30 <chapter>
31 <title>Introduction</title>
32 <section>
33 <body>
34
35 <p>
36 As with everything else in Gentoo Linux, the philosophy of the Gentoo
37 Kernel team is to give you, the user, as much freedom of choice as
38 possible. If you take a look at the output of <c>emerge -s sources</c>
39 you see a large variety of kernels to choose from. In this document,
40 I will attempt to give you a brief rundown of the goals of each of the
41 patch sets, which we at Gentoo design, and also explain the other kernel
42 sources we make available to you.
43 </p>
44
45 </body>
46 </section>
47 </chapter>
48
49 <chapter>
50 <title>The Choices, Part I</title>
51 <section>
52 <title>gentoo-sources</title>
53 <body>
54
55 <p>
56 For most users, the recommended kernel sources are the
57 <c>gentoo-sources</c>. The <c>gentoo-sources</c> package contains
58 specially tuned performance kernel patches designed to optimize tasks
59 such as compiling while listening to music and browsing the web. Most
60 of you who are new to Gentoo have probably never run a system where you
61 are regularly compiling many packages from source while you are doing your
62 normal everyday tasks on your computer.
63 You may find that if you use the <c>vanilla-sources</c> (the official
64 kernel sources released from <uri>http://www.kernel.org</uri>) normal tasks --
65 such as listening to music, moving your mouse and the like -- may appear
66 jumpy when you are compiling packages.
67 </p>
68
69 <p>
70 The <c>gentoo-sources</c> contain an updated ACPI subsystem and are based
71 on Con Kolivas' high-performance kernel patches (<c>ck-sources</c>). We also
72 support grSecurity (a set of security-related patches with support for
73 ACLs), EVMS(2) (a highly flexible storage management filesystem with easy
74 partition resizing), JFS (IBM's high-performance filesystem), the latest
75 NTFS drivers, and more.
76 </p>
77
78 <p>
79 Because the <c>gentoo-sources</c> are targeted at full performance, they are
80 also very good for gaming purposes.
81 </p>
82
83 </body>
84 </section>
85 <section>
86 <title>vanilla-sources</title>
87 <body>
88
89 <p>
90 The next kernel sources that many of you will probably be familiar with
91 as Linux users are the <c>vanilla-sources</c>. As I mentioned briefly
92 above, these are the official 2.4 kernel sources released on
93 <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>. These sources are maintained (contrary
94 to popular belief) not by Linus Torvalds himself, but by Marcelo
95 Tosatti. Linus is the leader of active kernel development, but as he is
96 only one man, he passes off the maintenance of the stable 2.4 kernel branch
97 to someone he can trust to handle it once it has stabilized. Thus, Alan
98 Cox became the maintainer of the Linux-2.2 kernel series and Marcelo
99 Tosatti became the maintainer of the Linux-2.4 kernel series. This is
100 what all the other patch sets in the 2.4 series are based on. Marcelo has
101 been doing an outstanding job with its maintenance and it can be
102 counted on for stability and up-to-date (if not bleeding edge) hardware
103 support.
104 </p>
105
106 <p>
107 <c>vanilla-sources</c> are probably the most stable sources available
108 since they are the most tested and all possible kernel sources are based
109 on them. If you don't need any of the extras that the other kernels supply
110 then the <c>vanilla-sources</c> are your thing.
111 </p>
112
113 </body>
114 </section>
115 <section>
116 <title>development-sources</title>
117 <body>
118
119 <p>
120 The <c>development-sources</c> ebuild provides the stable 2.6 Linux kernel.
121 As opposed to what the name might suggest this kernel source is completely
122 stable and production-ready.
123 </p>
124
125 </body>
126 </section>
127 <section>
128 <title>gs-sources</title>
129 <body>
130
131 <p>
132 For users to whom desktop interactive performance comes as a secondary
133 priority to reliability and hardware support, we have the
134 <c>gs-sources</c>. GS stands for Gentoo Stable (creative, aren't we?).
135 This patch set is tuned and tested to provide the best support for the
136 latest hardware and ensures that your mission critical servers will be
137 up when you need them. This kernel doesn't have some of the most
138 aggressive performance tuning patches from the <c>gentoo-sources</c>,
139 but rest assured, the great performance that you know and love from the
140 vanilla kernels are alive and well. Where possible and without
141 compromising stability we add server related performance patches.
142 </p>
143
144 <p>
145 This kernel provides support for the latest ACPI subsystem, EVMS, ECC
146 (required for HA Linux systems), Encrypted Loopback devices, NTFS, Win4Lin
147 and XFS. It also contains updates for IDE, ext3 and several network cards
148 amongst other patches.
149 </p>
150
151 <p>
152 In other words, these sources are perfect for servers and
153 High-Availability systems.
154 </p>
155
156 <p>
157 The following USE-flags can be set to select optional patches:
158 </p>
159
160 <table>
161 <tr><th>Flags</th><th>Description</th></tr>
162 <tr><ti>crypt</ti><ti>Apply cryptographic patches</ti></tr>
163 </table>
164
165 </body>
166 </section>
167 <section>
168 <title>gentoo-test-sources</title>
169 <body>
170
171 <p>
172 <c>gentoo-test-sources</c> are what will become <c>gentoo-sources</c> after
173 lots of testing and QA. Patches to the <c>gentoo-sources</c> are first
174 added to <c>gentoo-test-sources</c> for testing. So if you want the
175 performance of <c>gentoo-sources</c> with the most recent possible
176 patches, use <c>gentoo-test-sources</c>.
177 </p>
178
179 </body>
180 </section>
181 <section>
182 <title>hardened-sources</title>
183 <body>
184
185 <p>
186 <c>hardened-sources</c> provides patches for the various subprojects of
187 Gentoo Hardened (such as support for LSM/SELinux and GRSecurity), together
188 with stability/security-enhancements. Check
189 <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for more information.
190 </p>
191
192 <p>
193 The following USE-flags can be set to select optional patches:
194 </p>
195
196 <table>
197 <tr><th>Flags</th><th>Description</th></tr>
198 <tr><ti>selinux</ti><ti>Substitute grSecurity with SELinux support</ti></tr>
199 </table>
200
201 </body>
202 </section>
203 <section>
204 <title>xfs-sources</title>
205 <body>
206
207 <p>
208 <c>xfs-sources</c> contains support for EVMS, ACPI, grSecurity and, what
209 you probably already figured out by now, the latest XFS support patches
210 from the XFS Development. The Gentoo LiveCD uses <c>xfs-sources</c>, if
211 you must know :-)
212 </p>
213
214 <p>
215 More information about XFS on <uri>http://oss.sgi.com/projects/xfs/</uri>.
216 </p>
217
218 </body>
219 </section>
220 <section>
221 <title>Architecture dependent kernels</title>
222 <body>
223
224 <p>
225 <c>alpha-sources</c>, <c>hppa-sources</c>, <c>ia64-sources</c>,
226 <c>mips-sources</c>, <c>ppc-sources</c> and
227 <c>sparc-sources</c> are, as their names suggest, patched to run best on
228 specific architectures. They also contain some of the patches for hardware and
229 features support from the other patch sets mentioned above and below.
230 </p>
231
232 </body>
233 </section>
234 <section>
235 <title>ppc-sources-benh</title>
236 <body>
237
238 <p>
239 The <c>ppc-sources-benh</c> ebuilds provide additional hardware
240 support for the <c>ppc-sources</c> kernel. It is slightly more
241 experimental than the <c>ppc-sources</c>.
242 </p>
243
244 </body>
245 </section>
246 <section>
247 <title>ppc-sources-crypto</title>
248 <body>
249
250 <p>
251 The <c>ppc-sources-crypto</c> ebuilds provide CryptoAPI
252 support for the Gentoo Linux PPC Kernel. More information about
253 CryptoAPI can be found on <uri>http://www.kerneli.org/about/</uri>.
254 </p>
255
256 </body>
257 </section>
258 <section>
259 <title>ppc-sources-dev</title>
260 <body>
261
262 <p>
263 The <c>ppc-sources-dev</c> packages provide the development sources for
264 <c>ppc-sources</c>. Every patch which should become part of
265 <c>ppc-sources</c> has to go through <c>ppc-sources-dev</c> first.
266 </p>
267
268 </body>
269 </section>
270 <section>
271 <title>compaq-sources</title>
272 <body>
273
274 <p>
275 The <c>compaq-sources</c> provide RedHat's kernel sources for Alpha,
276 maintained by Compaq.
277 </p>
278
279 </body>
280 </section>
281 </chapter>
282
283 <chapter>
284 <title>The Choices, Part II</title>
285 <section>
286 <body>
287
288 <p>
289 Now I'm going to try to briefly describe some of the other
290 <path>sys-kernel/*-sources</path> which you saw scroll by when you ran
291 <c>emerge -s sources</c>. Lets take them in alphabetical order.
292 </p>
293
294 </body>
295 </section>
296 <section>
297 <title>aa-sources</title>
298 <body>
299
300 <p>
301 First we have <c>aa-sources</c>. This is Andrea Arcangeli's patch set.
302 Andrea is known as an amazing coder by many other kernel hackers. His
303 kernel patch set has some of the most aggressively tuned VM (Virtual
304 Memory) patches known to mankind. When I last looked, it also contained
305 SGI's XFS filesystem and the O(1) scheduler by Ingo Molar (which is
306 the default scheduler for Linux 2.6).
307 </p>
308
309 <p>
310 It also provides User Mode Linux support (check out our
311 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">UML Guide</uri> for more information) and
312 the latest TUX Webserver (an in-kernel webserver).
313 </p>
314
315 <p>
316 If you have Memory Management troubles with other kernels,
317 <c>aa-sources</c> can be your solution. If you want to optimize Linux's
318 Memory Management for your system, <c>aa-sources</c> is <e>definitely</e>
319 what you need.
320 </p>
321
322 <p>
323 Visit
324 <uri>http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/andrea/kernels/v2.4</uri>
325 for more information about all the patches in these kernel sources.
326 </p>
327
328 </body>
329 </section>
330 <section>
331 <title>ck-sources</title>
332 <body>
333
334 <p>
335 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This kernel is
336 <e>HIGHLY</e> tuned for desktop performance at the expense of
337 throughput and some of the scheduler's ability to prioritize
338 applications. Con Kolivas benchmarks kernels to find the best
339 combination of features for desktop use. See
340 <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> for more information on Con and his
341 patches.
342 </p>
343
344 </body>
345 </section>
346 <section>
347 <title>gaming-sources</title>
348 <body>
349
350 <p>
351 <c>gaming-sources</c> are based on <c>ck-sources</c> and are therefore
352 tuned for high performance. They also contain patches for the latest
353 game-related hardware (graphic cards, sound cards, and such).
354 </p>
355
356 <p>
357 If you are a hardcore gamer, this is your choice.
358 </p>
359
360 </body>
361 </section>
362 <section>
363 <title>grsec-sources</title>
364 <body>
365
366 <p>
367 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source is patched with the latest GRSecurity
368 updates (GRSecurity version 1.9 and up) which includes, amongst other
369 security-related patches, support for PaX.
370 </p>
371
372 </body>
373 </section>
374 <section>
375 <title>mm-sources</title>
376 <body>
377
378 <p>
379 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>development-sources</c> and
380 contain Andrew Morton's patch set. It assembles several other patches,
381 like ext2/3 Extended Attributes and Access Control Lists, Page Table
382 Sharing, the Orlov Allocator, non-linear mapping behaviour, etc into one
383 patch set.
384 </p>
385
386 <p>
387 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
388 <c>development-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
389 <c>mm-sources</c>.
390 </p>
391
392 </body>
393 </section>
394 <section>
395 <title>openmosix-sources</title>
396 <body>
397
398 <p>
399 The <c>openmosix-sources</c> are patched to support the openMosix system
400 (like MOSIX but Open Source). For more information see
401 <uri>http://www.openmosix.org</uri>.
402 </p>
403
404 </body>
405 </section>
406 <section>
407 <title>pac-sources</title>
408 <body>
409
410 <p>
411 The <c>pac-sources</c> kernel tree is patched with Bernhard Rosenkraenzer's
412 (bero) patches.
413 </p>
414
415 </body>
416 </section>
417 <section>
418 <title>planet-ccrma-sources</title>
419 <body>
420
421 <p>
422 This kernel source contains the Linux Kernel source for the version of the
423 Redhat Linux Kernel modified by the Planet CCRMA (custom audio upgrade) project.
424 </p>
425
426 <p>
427 More information can be found at <uri>http://ccrma-www.stanford.edu/</uri>.
428 </p>
429
430 </body>
431 </section>
432 <section>
433 <title>selinux-sources</title>
434 <body>
435
436 <p>
437 <c>selinux-sources</c> from <uri>http://www.nsa.gov/selinux</uri> are
438 patches for the security conscious to support the LSM (Linux Security
439 Modules) and the Flask Security Architecture.
440 </p>
441
442 </body>
443 </section>
444 <section>
445 <title>usermode-sources</title>
446 <body>
447
448 <p>
449 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
450 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
451 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
452 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
453 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
454 </p>
455
456 <p>
457 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
458 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
459 </p>
460
461 </body>
462 </section>
463 <section>
464 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
465 <body>
466
467 <p>
468 <c>win4lin-sources</c> are patched to support the userland win4lin tools
469 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
470 at almost native speeds. See <uri>http://www.netraverse.com/</uri> for more
471 information.
472 </p>
473
474 </body>
475 </section>
476 <section>
477 <title>wolk-sources</title>
478 <body>
479
480 <p>
481 <c>wolk-sources</c> contains the <e>Working Overloaded Linux Kernel</e> from
482 <uri>http://sourceforge.net/projects/wolk</uri>. This kernel contains
483 many patches of a wide variety, all combined into the kernel with
484 extreme care. This allows you to configure nearly every one into and out
485 of the kernel at compile time -- so the kernel will work with nearly any
486 combination of the patches.
487 </p>
488
489 <p>
490 If you need a certain combination of patches that you cannot find in other
491 kernel sources, WOLK is definitely worth a shot.
492 </p>
493
494 </body>
495 </section>
496 </chapter>
497 </guide>

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