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Re: Question about kernel updates

On Fri, Oct 17, 2003 at 09:29:37PM +0200, Jaap A. Haitsma wrote:

 > Maybe a stupid question, but I'm just curious: why does RedHat (and also 
 > other distro providers) do this? Why don't they just ship the official 
 > 2.4.22 kernel and just wait until the 2.4.23 kernel gets released?

Because theres no guarantee 2.4.23 will be out any time soon.
It could be six months off for all we know. There are patches going
into the pre's that fix known problems, so merging the 'obvious fixes'
is something that's always happened. The riskier bits have been held
off. For example, the VM updates that are currently going into 2.4.23pre
which some early-adopters are noting problems with.
 > It's probably due to the fact that the RedHat Linux kernel is a modified 
 > version (a fork) of the official kernel. But is this forking/merging 
 > worth the effort? It takes quite some time to do all this and also there 
 > is a possibility to introduce extra bugs.

When there are known fixes in the pre's, just ignoring them and shipping
a product without because the next stable kernel hadn't been released
doesn't sound too useful.  I wish it was this easy. You're right that
its a lot of effort. It's a full time job tracking 2.4, judging whether
something is needed or not in the RH kernel, merging, adapting 
(due to NPTL and other largescale changes), and testing.

 > Wouldn't it be better for RedHat if  RedHat just sends the patches to 
 > Linus and company, and just accept the fact that they maybe don't accepted?

A majority of whats been merged in the last few weeks are patches that
already have been accepted upstream.


 Dave Jones     http://www.codemonkey.org.uk

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