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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 1.56 2009/10/16 11:53:34 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 <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>1.24</version>
45 <date>2009-10-22</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.
116 <c>gentoo-sources</c> is a kernel based on Linux 2.6, lightly patched to fix
117 security problems, kernel bugs, and to increase compatibility with the more
118 uncommon system architectures.
119 </p>
120
121 <p>
122 The <c>gentoo-sources</c> package absorbs most of the resources of the Gentoo
123 kernel team. They are brought to you by a group of talented developers, which
124 can count on the expertise of popular kernel hacker Greg Kroah-Hartman,
125 maintainer of udev and responsible for the USB and PCI subsystems of the
126 official Linux kernel.
127 </p>
128
129 </body>
130 </section>
131 <section>
132 <title>For servers: hardened-sources</title>
133 <body>
134
135 <p>
136 <c>hardened-sources</c> is based on the official Linux kernel and is targeted at
137 our users running Gentoo on server systems. It provides patches for the various
138 subprojects of Gentoo Hardened (such as support for <uri
139 link="http://www.nsa.gov/selinux/">LSM/SELinux</uri> and <uri
140 link="http://grsecurity.net">grsecurity</uri>), together with
141 stability/security-enhancements. Check
142 <uri>http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/hardened/</uri> for more information.
143 </p>
144
145 <impo>
146 This kernel provides powerful patches for enhanced security. Please read the
147 <uri link="/proj/en/hardened/">documentation</uri> before you use it.
148 </impo>
149
150 </body>
151 </section>
152 <section>
153 <title>Architecture dependent kernels</title>
154 <body>
155
156 <p>
157 <c>cell-sources</c>, <c>mips-sources</c>, <c>sparc-sources</c>, and
158 <c>xbox-sources</c> are, as their names suggest, patched to run best on specific
159 architectures. They also contain some of the patches for hardware and features
160 support from the other patch sets mentioned above and below.
161 </p>
162
163 </body>
164 </section>
165 </chapter>
166
167 <chapter>
168 <title>Unsupported kernel packages</title>
169 <section>
170 <body>
171
172 <p>
173 Now I'm going to try to briefly describe some of the other
174 <path>sys-kernel/*-sources</path> which you saw scroll by when you ran
175 <c>emerge -s sources</c>. Lets take them in alphabetical order. These
176 kernels are provided as a courtesy only and the various patch sets are not
177 supported by the Gentoo team.
178 </p>
179
180 </body>
181 </section>
182 <section>
183 <title>git-sources</title>
184 <body>
185
186 <p>
187 The <c>git-sources</c> package tracks daily snapshots of the upstream
188 development kernel tree. You should run these kernels if you are interested in
189 kernel development or testing. Bugreports should go to the <uri
190 link="http://bugzilla.kernel.org/">Linux Kernel Bug Tracker</uri> or LKML
191 (Linux Kernel Mailing List).
192 </p>
193
194 </body>
195 </section>
196 <section>
197 <title>mm-sources</title>
198 <body>
199
200 <p>
201 The <c>mm-sources</c> are based on the <c>vanilla-sources</c> and contain
202 Andrew Morton's patch set. They include the experimental and bleeding-edge
203 features that are going to be included in the official kernel (or that are
204 going to be rejected because they set your box on fire). They are known to be
205 always moving at a fast pace and can change radically from one week to the
206 other; kernel hackers use them as a testing ground for new stuff.
207 </p>
208
209 <p>
210 If you really want to live on the edge and you think
211 <c>vanilla-sources</c> are for wussies, then try out
212 <c>mm-sources</c>. Be warned that this kernel is highly experimental and
213 doesn't always work as expected.
214 </p>
215
216 </body>
217 </section>
218 <section>
219 <title>openvz-sources</title>
220 <body>
221
222 <p>
223 OpenVZ is a server virtualization solution built on Linux. OpenVZ creates
224 isolated, secure virtual private servers (VPSs) or virtual environments on a
225 single physical server enabling better server utilization and ensuring that
226 applications do not conflict. For more information, see
227 <uri>http://www.openvz.org</uri>.
228 </p>
229
230 </body>
231 </section>
232 <section>
233 <title>tuxonice-sources</title>
234 <body>
235
236 <p>
237 The <c>tuxonice-sources</c> (formerly <c>suspend2-sources</c>) are patched with
238 both genpatches which includes the patches found in gentoo-sources, and <uri
239 link="http://www.tuxonice.net">TuxOnIce</uri> which is an improved
240 implementation of suspend-to-disk for the Linux kernel, formerly known as
241 <e>suspend2</e>.
242 </p>
243
244 <p>
245 This kernel is recommended for laptop users who often rely on being able
246 to suspend their laptop and resume work elsewhere.
247 </p>
248
249 </body>
250 </section>
251 <section>
252 <title>usermode-sources</title>
253 <body>
254
255 <p>
256 <c>usermode-sources</c> are the User Mode Linux kernel patches. This
257 kernel is designed to allow Linux to run within Linux to run within Linux
258 to ... User Mode Linux is intended for testing and virtual server support.
259 For more information about this amazing tribute to the stability and
260 scalability of Linux, see <uri>http://user-mode-linux.sourceforge.net</uri>.
261 </p>
262
263 <p>
264 For more information on UML and Gentoo, read the
265 <uri link="/doc/en/uml.xml">Gentoo UML Guide</uri>.
266 </p>
267
268 </body>
269 </section>
270 <section>
271 <title>vanilla-sources</title>
272 <body>
273
274 <p>
275 The next kernel sources that many of you will probably be familiar with as Linux
276 users are the <c>vanilla-sources</c>. These are the official kernel sources
277 released on <uri>http://www.kernel.org/</uri>. Please note that we do not patch
278 these kernels at all - these are purely for people who wish to run a completely
279 unmodified Linux kernel. We recommend that you use <c>gentoo-sources</c>
280 instead.
281 </p>
282
283 <p>
284 Two versions of the kernel can be found under this package: 2.4 and 2.6.
285 </p>
286
287 </body>
288 </section>
289 </chapter>
290
291 <chapter>
292 <title>Previously provided kernel packages</title>
293 <section>
294 <title>aa-sources</title>
295 <body>
296
297 <p>
298 <c>aa-sources</c> was a heavily modified kernel with all kinds of patches.
299 The upstream maintainer has stopped releasing kernel patchsets, this package
300 was removed as it went out of date.
301 </p>
302
303 </body>
304 </section>
305 <section>
306 <title>alpha-sources</title>
307 <body>
308
309 <p>
310 <c>alpha-sources</c> was a 2.4 kernel with patches applied to improve hardware
311 compatibility for the Alpha architecture. These patches have been developed
312 and included in the mainline kernel. Alpha users can now run any recent kernel
313 with no need for extra patches.
314 </p>
315
316 </body>
317 </section>
318 <section>
319 <title>ck-sources</title>
320 <body>
321
322 <p>
323 <c>ck-sources</c> is Con Kolivas's kernel patch set. This patchset is
324 primarily designed to improve system responsiveness and interactivity and is
325 configurable for varying workloads (from servers to desktops). The patchset is
326 also quite mature and has been put through numerous iterations of development
327 and tuning. The emphasis of each release is on stability and security. Support
328 and information is available at <uri>http://kernel.kolivas.org</uri> and in
329 <c>#ck</c> on <c>irc.oftc.net</c>.
330 </p>
331
332 </body>
333 </section>
334 <section>
335 <title>development-sources</title>
336 <body>
337
338 <p>
339 <c>development-sources</c>, the official 2.6 kernel from kernel.org, can now
340 be found under the <c>vanilla-sources</c> package.
341 </p>
342
343 </body>
344 </section>
345 <section>
346 <title>gentoo-dev-sources</title>
347 <body>
348
349 <p>
350 <c>gentoo-dev-sources</c>, a 2.6 kernel patched with bug, security and
351 stability fixes, can now be found under the <c>gentoo-sources</c> package.
352 </p>
353
354 </body>
355 </section>
356 <section>
357 <title>grsec-sources</title>
358 <body>
359
360 <p>
361 The <c>grsec-sources</c> kernel source used to be patched with the latest
362 grsecurity updates (grsecurity version 2.0 and up) which included, amongst
363 other security-related patches, support for PaX. As grsecurity patches are
364 included in <c>hardened-sources</c>, this package is no longer in Portage.
365 </p>
366
367 </body>
368 </section>
369 <section>
370 <title>hardened-dev-sources</title>
371 <body>
372
373 <p>
374 <c>hardened-dev-sources</c> can now be found under the <c>hardened-sources</c>
375 package.
376 </p>
377
378 </body>
379 </section>
380 <section>
381 <title>hppa-sources</title>
382 <body>
383
384 <p>
385 <c>hppa-sources</c> was a 2.6 kernel with patches applied to improve hardware
386 compatibility for the HPPA architecture. These patches have been developed
387 and included in the mainline kernel. HPPA users can now run any recent kernel
388 with no need for extra patches.
389 </p>
390
391 </body>
392 </section>
393 <section>
394 <title>rsbac-dev-sources</title>
395 <body>
396
397 <p>
398 The <c>rsbac-dev-sources</c> kernels can now be found under the
399 <c>rsbac-sources</c> package.
400 </p>
401
402 </body>
403 </section>
404 <section>
405 <title>rsbac-sources</title>
406 <body>
407
408 <p>
409 <c>rsbac-sources</c> was a 2.6-based kernel. It contained patches to use Rule
410 Set Based Access Controls (<uri link="http://www.rsbac.org">RSBAC</uri>). It has
411 been removed due to lack of maintainers. Use <c>hardened-sources</c> if you need
412 additional security features.
413 </p>
414
415 </body>
416 </section>
417 <section>
418 <title>selinux-sources</title>
419 <body>
420
421 <p>
422 <c>selinux-sources</c>, a 2.4 kernel including lots of security enhancements,
423 has been obsoleted by security development in the 2.6 tree. SELinux
424 functionality can be found in the <c>hardened-sources</c> package.
425 </p>
426
427 </body>
428 </section>
429 <section>
430 <title>sh-sources</title>
431 <body>
432
433 <p>
434 <c>sh-sources</c> was a 2.6 kernel with patches applied to improve hardware
435 compatibility for the SuperH architecture. These patches have been developed
436 and included in the mainline kernel. SuperH users can now run any recent kernel
437 with no need for extra patches.
438 </p>
439
440 </body>
441 </section>
442 <section>
443 <title>uclinux-sources</title>
444 <body>
445
446 <p>
447 The <c>uclinux-sources</c> are meant for CPUs without MMUs as well as embedded
448 devices. For more information, see <uri>http://www.uclinux.org</uri>. Lack of
449 security patches as well as hardware to test on were the reasons this is no
450 longer in the tree.
451 </p>
452
453 </body>
454 </section>
455 <section>
456 <title>win4lin-sources</title>
457 <body>
458
459 <p>
460 <c>win4lin-sources</c> were patched to support the userland win4lin tools
461 that allow Linux users to run many Microsoft Windows (TM) applications
462 at almost native speeds. This was removed due to security issues.
463 </p>
464
465 </body>
466 </section>
467 </chapter>
468 </guide>

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