18 Jul, 2005 GWN

So after reading through the kernel@ mails there are an awful lot of people coming up with the same scenario over and over, or the same questions and comments.
I thought I would post a blog just to summarize and to also suggest some migration models for those of you who are struggling.

So lets start at the top.
We are not dropping 2.4 support in gentoo.
gentoo-sources (2.4) is a vanilla 2.4 kernel with the following patches applied:

useraddress.patch – Choice for user space memory limits.
lckbase-2.4.28_rc3.patch – Patch to select the O(1) schedular, preempt etc.
readlatency.patch – elevator improvements to increase read times.
ecc-20030225.patch – Properly implemented ECC memory management/error reporting.
OpenSWAN-2.1.4+natt.patch – the OpwnSWAN IPSEC patchset, with NAT-T support.
bootsplash-3.0.7.patch – Graphical bootsplash support.
deviceMapper-1.00.17.patch – support for the Device Mapper block device. Required for LVM/EVMS
superMount.1.2.11a.patch – Removable/automount style device which is useful for removable media
linux-ntfs-2.1.6b.patch – Windows NTFS fs, with improved write support.
squashfs-1.3r3.patch – the SquashFS compressed read-only device driver.
GRSecurity-2.0.2.patch – For enhanced (ACL) security.
cryptoloop-jari- – A crypt aware loop device.
GCC-optimizations.patch – Add -march support.
speakup-20040313.patch – The voice synthesiser. very useful for blind users.
GentooBootsplash – The gentoo derives bootsplash driver.

So, what does this mean?
Well, following recent input we have decided to keep gentoo-sources-2.4 maintained in the tree for a little while longer, although with a much lighter patchset.
The following are to be dropped:


For some people this will pose a problem. Specifically with grsec. However I would like to strongly suggest a migration away from gentoo-sources-2.4 towards one of the following based on your requirements:

A security hardened, grsec enhanced and stable kernel:

A stable, reliable 2.4 based kernel:
(Now I assume you need 2.4 for a better reason than “I’m lazy”)
hardened-sources-2.4 (without enabling grsec)

A featureful, stable, and desktop-orientated 2.6 kernel:
I strongly suggest this for people which want responsiveness, ease of use and functionality.
As you may notice the supermount patch is being dropped. The desired approach is most certainly to go with udev/dbus/hal and a 2.6 kernel with hotplug. This will be much more user-friendly.

Please be aware that gentoo-sources-2.4 is likely to go on another diet within the next 6 months or so, with the long-term goal of it being completely removed.

Almost all questions should be answered above, although if you are required to stay on a 2.4 kernel (but would like to run 2.6) due to the fact that a specific driver isnt available for 2.6 please dont keep to yourself. Drop a mail to kernel@gentoo.org and ask us. It is very likely we can help you out.

So, to summarise.
“I want to move to 2.4 but XYZ doesnt work” : mail us.
“I cant move to 2.6 because this is production, and I want grsec” : hardened-sources
“I dont want 2.6 you goofs, I need OpenAFS support” : Then stick with 2.4, but please consider moving to vanilla-sources.

OpenSWAN is the one real requirement still provided on a 2.4 kernel by gentoo-sources which isnt included in other sources. If you are in this situation please drop a mail to us so that we might find out more and proceed appropriately :)

So, panic over. You can all go enjoy a nice cup of coffee while your new kernels compile :)