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Re: FC2 kernel quality

On Thursday 30 September 2004 19:03, Jonathan Andrews wrote:
> On Thu, 2004-09-30 at 22:39, Charles R. Anderson wrote:
> > On Thu, Sep 30, 2004 at 09:15:43PM +0100, Jonathan Andrews wrote:
> > To build any Redhat package you need to understand rpm.  Why should
> > the kernel be any different?

> Because every other package can be built from source and still work on
> Redhat....

Not necessarily.  Try glibc or rpm or db4 or a few other core packages.  In an 
rpm distro, it is usually best to use rpm to build software and install 
software so that the dependency system has a fighting chance to keep 
everything straight.  You want from source?  Go to Gentoo.  Even there you 
don't just download a tarball, .configure;make;make install.  You use their 
portage system (emerge) to do it.  What's the difference between 'rpmbuild 
--rebuild some-package.src.rpm;rpm -Uvh somepackage-built.arch.rpm' and the 
others?  Just another set of command; but the rpm system that the 
distribution is built upon (and that up2date, yum, and apt depend upon) needs 
to know what you have installed for other package installations, otherwise 
you end up with real problems that synaptic or yumi can't hope to deal with.

The kernel is just another package in this scheme, and you very well could 
have dependencies on the kernel version that break in the presence of your 
custom kernel.  There are very few reasons for a custom kerne anymore; the 
ones I still know about are hardware driver ones; the modular Red Hat 2.6 
kernel is very very close to the kernel.org modular kernel; there is no 
'fork' in the 2.6.x series like there was in the 2.4.x series.

> Up until today that what I always did, most of my Redhat 9 boxes have
> kernel.org kernels ... and run fine ? Makes me wonder why Redhat fork
> the kernel - but thats an argument I cant hope to win so I will shut up
> now !

Name a distribution that uses a vanilla kernel.org kernel with no 
distribution-specific patches.  You'll be hard-pressed to find even one; most 
if not all distributions have, in your words, 'forked' the kernel.  SuSE as 
of the last time I looked had more patches than Red Hat does.  At least with 
2.6.x as used in FC2 and FC3T.

The Red Hat kernel is more stable than the vanilla one under load (which the 
last time I checked (which has been a while) was generated by a cerberus 
configuration; the vanilla kernel can't stand the load the RH one does, at 
least at that time).  Otherwise Red Hat would use the vanilla kernel, since 
it takes developer resources to patch a kernel; you don't just patch because 
'I want a different kernel!'

> As for rpm

> [root jonspc root]# man rpm |wc
>     831    3325   40895

> 3,325 words, most starting with - or --   That doesn't include rpmbuild,
> or any reference what to do when it locks itself ! No wonder linux is
> described as to complex !

That's much smaller than the docs on how to build a custom kernel, which you 
seem to have not had a problem doing.
Lamar Owen
Director of Information Technology
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
1 PARI Drive
Rosman, NC  28772

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