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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 1.7 2004/06/24 12:39:58 dertobi123 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 <author title="Editor">
20 <mail link="bennyc@gentoo.org">Benny Chuang</mail>
21 </author>
22
23 <abstract>
24 This document gives you an overview on all kernel sources that Gentoo
25 provides through Portage.
26 </abstract>
27
28 <license/>
29
30 <version>0.5</version>
31 <date>July 3, 2004</date>
32
33 <chapter>
34 <title>Introduction</title>
35 <section>
36 <body>
37
38 <p>
39 As with everything else in Gentoo Linux, the philosophy of the Gentoo
40 Kernel team is to give you, the user, as much freedom of choice as
41 possible. If you take a look at the output of <c>emerge -s sources</c>
42 you see a large variety of kernels to choose from. In this document,
43 I will attempt to give you a brief rundown of the goals of each of the
44 patch sets, which we at Gentoo design, and also explain the other kernel
45 sources we make available to you.
46 </p>
47
48 </body>
49 </section>
50 </chapter>
51
52 <chapter>
53 <title>The Choices, Part I</title>
54 <section>
55 <title>genkernel</title>
56 <body>
57
58 <p>
59 <c>Genkernel</c> is a kernel toolset that can be used to autodetect your
60 hardware and configure your kernel automatically. This is usually recommended
61 for users who do not feel comfortable about compiling a kernel manually.
62 </p>
63
64 </body>
65 </section>
66 <section>
67 <title>gentoo-sources</title>
68 <body>
69
70 <p>
71 For most users, the recommended kernel sources are the
72 <c>gentoo-sources</c>. The <c>gentoo-sources</c> package contains
73 specially tuned performance kernel patches designed to optimize tasks
74 such as compiling while listening to music and browsing the web. Most
75 of you who are new to Gentoo have probably never run a system where you
76 are regularly compiling many packages from source while you are doing your
77 normal everyday tasks on your computer.
78 You may find that if you use the <c>vanilla-sources</c> (the official
79 kernel sources released from <uri>http://www.kernel.org</uri>) normal tasks --
80 such as listening to music, moving your mouse and the like -- may appear
81 jumpy when you are compiling packages.
82 </p>
83
84 <p>
85 The <c>gentoo-sources</c> contain an updated ACPI subsystem and are based
86 on Con Kolivas' high-performance kernel patches (<c>ck-sources</c>). We also
87 support grSecurity (a set of security-related patches with support for
88 ACLs), EVMS(2) (a highly flexible storage management filesystem with easy
89 partition resizing), JFS (IBM's high-performance filesystem), the latest
90 NTFS drivers, and more.
91 </p>
92
93 <p>
94 Because the <c>gentoo-sources</c> are targeted at full performance, they are
95 also very good for gaming purposes.
96 </p>
97
98 </body>
99 </section>
100 <section>
101 <title>vanilla-sources</title>
102 <body>
103
104 <p>
105 The next kernel sources that many of you will probably be familiar with
106 as Linux users are the <c>vanilla-sources</c>. As I mentioned briefly
107 above, these are the official 2.4 kernel sources released on
108 <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>. These sources are maintained (contrary
109 to popular belief) not by Linus Torvalds himself, but by Marcelo
110 Tosatti. Linus is the leader of active kernel development, but as he is
111 only one man, he passes off the maintenance of the stable 2.4 kernel branch
112 to someone he can trust to handle it once it has stabilized. Thus, Alan
113 Cox became the maintainer of the Linux-2.2 kernel series and Marcelo
114 Tosatti became the maintainer of the Linux-2.4 kernel series. This is
115 what all the other patch sets in the 2.4 series are based on. Marcelo has
116 been doing an outstanding job with its maintenance and it can be
117 counted on for stability and up-to-date (if not bleeding edge) hardware
118 support.
119 </p>
120
121 <p>
122 <c>vanilla-sources</c> are probably the most stable sources available
123 since they are the most tested and all possible kernel sources are based
124 on them. If you don't need any of the extras that the other kernels supply
125 then the <c>vanilla-sources</c> are your thing.
126 </p>
127
128 </body>
129 </section>
130 <section>
131 <title>gentoo-dev-sources</title>
132 <body>
133
134 <p>
135 The <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c> ebuild includes the most up-to-date 2.6 kernel
136 with Gentoo's optimized performance patches.
137 </p>
138
139 </body>
140 </section>
141 <section>
142 <title>development-sources</title>
143 <body>
144
145 <p>
146 The <c>development-sources</c> ebuild provides the stable 2.6 Linux kernel. As
147 opposed to what the name might suggest this kernel source is completely stable
148 and production-ready. This is the official 2.6 kernel released on
149 <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>.
150 </p>
151
152 </body>
153 </section>
154 <section>
155 <title>gs-sources</title>
156 <body>
157
158 <p>
159 For users to whom desktop interactive performance comes as a secondary
160 priority to reliability and hardware support, we have the
161 <c>gs-sources</c>. GS stands for Gentoo Stable (creative, aren't we?).
162 This patch set is tuned and tested to provide the best support for the
163 latest hardware and ensures that your mission critical servers will be
164 up when you need them. This kernel doesn't have some of the most
165 aggressive performance tuning patches from the <c>gentoo-sources</c>,
166 but rest assured, the great performance that you know and love from the
167 vanilla kernels are alive and well. Where possible and without
168 compromising stability we add server related performance patches.
169 </p>
170
171 <p>
172 This kernel provides support for the latest ACPI subsystem, EVMS, ECC
173 (required for HA Linux systems), Encrypted Loopback devices, NTFS, Win4Lin
174 and XFS. It also contains updates for IDE, ext3 and several network cards
175 amongst other patches.
176 </p>
177
178 <p>
179 In other words, these sources are perfect for servers and
180 High-Availability systems.
181 </p>
182
183 <p>
184 The following USE-flags can be set to select optional patches:
185 </p>
186
187 <table>
188 <tr><th>Flags</th><th>Description</th></tr>
189 <tr><ti>crypt</ti><ti>Apply cryptographic patches</ti></tr>
190 </table>
191
192 </body>
193 </section>
194 <section>
195 <title>hardened-sources</title>
196 <body>
197
198 <p>
199 <c>hardened-sources</c> provides patches for the various subprojects of
200 Gentoo Hardened (such as support for LSM/SELinux and GRSecurity), together
201 with stability/security-enhancements. Check
202 <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for more information.
203 </p>
204
205 <p>
206 The following USE-flags can be set to select optional patches:
207 </p>
208
209 <table>
210 <tr><th>Flags</th><th>Description</th></tr>
211 <tr><ti>selinux</ti><ti>Substitute grSecurity with SELinux support</ti></tr>
212 </table>
213
214 </body>
215 </section>
216 <section>
217 <title>hardened-dev-sources</title>
218 <body>
219
220 <p>
221 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> use the 2.6 kernel with the patches provided by the
222 various subprojects of Gentoo Hardened.
223 </p>
224
225 </body>
226 </section>
227 <section>
228 <title>xfs-sources</title>
229 <body>
230
231 <p>
232 <c>xfs-sources</c> contains support for EVMS, ACPI, grSecurity and, what
233 you probably already figured out by now, the latest XFS support patches
234 from the XFS Development. Please note that XFS support has been merged
235 into the regular 2.4 kernel tree.
236 </p>
237
238 <p>
239 More information about XFS on <uri>http://oss.sgi.com/projects/xfs/</uri>.
240 </p>
241
242 </body>
243 </section>
244 <section>
245 <title>Architecture dependent kernels</title>
246 <body>
247
248 <p>
249 <c>alpha-sources</c>, <c>hppa-sources</c>, <c>hppa-dev-sources</c>,
250 <c>ia64-sources</c>, <c>mips-sources</c>, <c>ppc-sources</c>,
251 <c>pegasos-sources</c>, <c>pegasos-dev-sources</c>, <c>sparc-sources</c>
252 and <c>xbox-sources</c> are, as their names suggest, patched to run best on
253 specific architectures. They also contain some of the patches for hardware and
254 features support from the other patch sets mentioned above and below. Kernel
255 sources that contains a "-dev-" means that the sources use the 2.6 kernel
256 instead of the 2.4 kernel.
257 </p>
258
259 </body>
260 </section>
261 <section>
262 <title>ppc-sources-benh</title>
263 <body>
264
265 <p>
266 The <c>ppc-sources-benh</c> ebuilds provide additional hardware
267 support for the <c>ppc-sources</c> kernel. It is slightly more
268 experimental than the <c>ppc-sources</c>.
269 </p>
270
271 </body>
272 </section>
273 <section>
274 <title>ppc-sources-crypto</title>
275 <body>
276
277 <p>
278 The <c>ppc-sources-crypto</c> ebuilds provide CryptoAPI
279 support for the Gentoo Linux PPC Kernel.
280 </p>
281
282 </body>
283 </section>
284 <section>
285 <title>ppc-dev-sources</title>
286 <body>
287
288 <p>
289 The <c>ppc-dev-sources</c> packages provide the most up-to-date 2.6 kernel
290 sources with Gentoo PPC's optimized patch for Macintosh machines.
291 </p>
292
293 </body>
294 </section>
295 <section>
296 <title>compaq-sources</title>
297 <body>
298
299 <p>
300 The <c>compaq-sources</c> provide RedHat's kernel sources for Alpha,
301 maintained by Compaq.
302 </p>
303
304 </body>
305 </section>
306 </chapter>
307
308 <chapter>
309 <title>The Choices, Part II</title>
310 <section>
311 <body>
312
313 <p>
314 Now I'm going to try to briefly describe some of the other
315 <path>sys-kernel/*-sources</path> which you saw scroll by when you ran
316 <c>emerge -s sources</c>. Lets take them in alphabetical order.
317 </p>
318
319 </body>
320 </section>
321 <section>
322 <title>aa-sources</title>
323 <body>
324
325 <p>
326 First we have <c>aa-sources</c>. This is Andrea Arcangeli's patch set.
327 Andrea is known as an amazing coder by many other kernel hackers. His
328 kernel patch set has some of the most aggressively tuned VM (Virtual
329 Memory) patches known to mankind. When I last looked, it also contained
330 SGI's XFS filesystem and the O(1) scheduler by Ingo Molar (which is
331 the default scheduler for Linux 2.6).
332 </p>
333
334 <p>
335 It also provides User Mode Linux support (check out our
336 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">UML Guide</uri> for more information) and
337 the latest TUX Webserver (an in-kernel webserver).
338 </p>
339
340 <p>
341 If you have Memory Management troubles with other kernels,
342 <c>aa-sources</c> can be your solution. If you want to optimize Linux's
343 Memory Management for your system, <c>aa-sources</c> is <e>definitely</e>
344 what you need.
345 </p>
346
347 <p>
348 Visit
349 <uri>http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/andrea/kernels/v2.4</uri>
350 for more information about all the patches in these kernel sources.
351 </p>
352
353 </body>
354 </section>
355 <section>
356 <title>ck-sources</title>
357 <body>
358
359 <p>
360 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This kernel is
361 <e>HIGHLY</e> tuned for desktop performance at the expense of
362 throughput and some of the scheduler's ability to prioritize
363 applications. Con Kolivas benchmarks kernels to find the best
364 combination of features for desktop use. See
365 <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> for more information on Con and his
366 patches.
367 </p>
368
369 </body>
370 </section>
371 <section>
372 <title>gaming-sources</title>
373 <body>
374
375 <p>
376 <c>gaming-sources</c> are based on <c>ck-sources</c> and are therefore
377 tuned for high performance. They also contain patches for the latest
378 game-related hardware (graphic cards, sound cards, and such).
379 </p>
380
381 <p>
382 If you are a hardcore gamer, this is your choice.
383 </p>
384
385 </body>
386 </section>
387 <section>
388 <title>grsec-sources</title>
389 <body>
390
391 <p>
392 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source is patched with the latest GRSecurity
393 updates (GRSecurity version 1.9 and up) which includes, amongst other
394 security-related patches, support for PaX.
395 </p>
396
397 </body>
398 </section>
399 <section>
400 <title>mm-sources</title>
401 <body>
402
403 <p>
404 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>development-sources</c> and
405 contain Andrew Morton's patch set. It assembles several other patches,
406 like ext2/3 Extended Attributes and Access Control Lists, Page Table
407 Sharing, the Orlov Allocator, non-linear mapping behaviour, etc into one
408 patch set.
409 </p>
410
411 <p>
412 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
413 <c>development-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
414 <c>mm-sources</c>.
415 </p>
416
417 </body>
418 </section>
419 <section>
420 <title>openmosix-sources</title>
421 <body>
422
423 <p>
424 The <c>openmosix-sources</c> are patched to support the openMosix system
425 (like MOSIX but Open Source). For more information see
426 <uri>http://www.openmosix.org</uri>.
427 </p>
428
429 </body>
430 </section>
431 <section>
432 <title>pac-sources</title>
433 <body>
434
435 <p>
436 The <c>pac-sources</c> kernel tree is patched with Bernhard Rosenkraenzer's
437 (bero) patches.
438 </p>
439
440 </body>
441 </section>
442 <section>
443 <title>planet-ccrma-sources</title>
444 <body>
445
446 <p>
447 This kernel source contains the Linux Kernel source for the version of the
448 Redhat Linux Kernel modified by the Planet CCRMA (custom audio upgrade) project.
449 </p>
450
451 <p>
452 More information can be found at <uri>http://ccrma-www.stanford.edu/</uri>.
453 </p>
454
455 </body>
456 </section>
457 <section>
458 <title>selinux-sources</title>
459 <body>
460
461 <p>
462 <c>selinux-sources</c> from <uri>http://www.nsa.gov/selinux</uri> are
463 patches for the security conscious to support the LSM (Linux Security
464 Modules) and the Flask Security Architecture.
465 </p>
466
467 </body>
468 </section>
469 <section>
470 <title>usermode-sources</title>
471 <body>
472
473 <p>
474 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
475 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
476 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
477 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
478 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
479 </p>
480
481 <p>
482 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
483 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
484 </p>
485
486 </body>
487 </section>
488 <section>
489 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
490 <body>
491
492 <p>
493 <c>win4lin-sources</c> are patched to support the userland win4lin tools
494 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
495 at almost native speeds. See <uri>http://www.netraverse.com/</uri> for more
496 information.
497 </p>
498
499 </body>
500 </section>
501 <section>
502 <title>wolk-sources</title>
503 <body>
504
505 <p>
506 <c>wolk-sources</c> contains the <e>Working Overloaded Linux Kernel</e> from
507 <uri>http://sourceforge.net/projects/wolk</uri>. This kernel contains
508 many patches of a wide variety, all combined into the kernel with
509 extreme care. This allows you to configure nearly every one into and out
510 of the kernel at compile time -- so the kernel will work with nearly any
511 combination of the patches.
512 </p>
513
514 <p>
515 If you need a certain combination of patches that you cannot find in other
516 kernel sources, WOLK is definitely worth a shot.
517 </p>
518
519 </body>
520 </section>
521 </chapter>
522 </guide>

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