[svlug] Distro kernels

Karsten M. Self kmself at ix.netcom.com
Wed Mar 2 21:38:55 PST 2005

on Wed, Mar 02, 2005 at 05:09:47PM -0800, Joe Buck (Joe.Buck at synopsys.COM) wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 19, 2005 at 05:08:56AM -0800, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > I'm writing a bit on distro selection, one section of which is reasons
> > why / why not to commit to a particular distro.  Realizing that a lot of
> > this is "matter of degree" stuff, I make the claim that, for typical
> > needs, one distro-specific kernel doesn't offer marked benefits over
> > another's, or your own hand-rolled one (maintenance and updates
> > excepted).
> What you're ignoring is that 2.6 Linus kernels should not be exposed to
> the naked Internet, because of unpatched security holes and general
> instability.  The kernel developers have abandoned the idea of a stable
> kernel, so the result is that new kernel releases should be treated as
> development kernels, good for experimenting with the cool new features,
> but not for production (where you want a slightly older 2.6 kernel with
> a dozen or so security patches and bug fixes).

Good points and made well.
> You want to run kernels put out by a distro that has a competent team of
> kernel hackers, who will fix the bugs before passing them on to you and
> quickly turn around security releases when new holes are found.

OK, right.

But there's no particular reason that running distro X you couldn't pick
a kernel from Y.  With alien and similar tools, you can even manage
these under your packaging system.

You lose automatic updates, as the major downside.

However, in the situation where distro X provides some (non-kernel)
feature M that you want, but distro Y has a necessary kernel feature,
you're not gestuck.


Karsten M. Self <kmself at ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman
    she meets and then teams up with three complete strangers to kill again.
     - That Movie Guy's synopsis of "The Wizard of Oz"
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