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Comparing The Ubuntu And Fedora Linux Kernels

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  • Comparing The Ubuntu And Fedora Linux Kernels

    Phoronix: Comparing The Ubuntu And Fedora Linux Kernels

    Josh Boyer of Red Hat has shared his thoughts when comparing the kernel configurations between the kernels that are shipped in Fedora and Ubuntu Linux...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM2OTE

  • #2
    Distros may patch in some cleverness (I dislike that), but they essentially enable all the features they can (modular where possible, using an initrd filesystem image to initialize critical drivers) without being unduly detrimental to the rest of the expected users of the kernel. For some things it makes more sense to have alternate kernels available.

    First thing I do is get rid of a distro's kernel and use my own. I don't use distros that can't run without third party patches or initrd images. (Most can run a vanilla kernel compiled the traditional way with necessary stuff built right in but some require you to do it their way. Fedora/Redhat for one)

    Not that I like a lot of distros anymore... I like old fashioned shell scripts tying things together. Infinitely customizable and they have no choice but to work.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Grogan View Post
      Not that I like a lot of distros anymore... I like old fashioned shell scripts tying things together. Infinitely customizable and they have no choice but to work.
      Slackware?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Grogan View Post
        Distros may patch in some cleverness (I dislike that), but they essentially enable all the features they can (modular where possible, using an initrd filesystem image to initialize critical drivers) without being unduly detrimental to the rest of the expected users of the kernel. For some things it makes more sense to have alternate kernels available.

        First thing I do is get rid of a distro's kernel and use my own. I don't use distros that can't run without third party patches or initrd images. (Most can run a vanilla kernel compiled the traditional way with necessary stuff built right in but some require you to do it their way. Fedora/Redhat for one)

        Not that I like a lot of distros anymore... I like old fashioned shell scripts tying things together. Infinitely customizable and they have no choice but to work.
        You sound like you'd like Gentoo.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ElderSnake View Post
          Slackware?
          As a matter of fact, yes. That's what I've always come back to. I like the simple init scripts ("BSD style")... I go through them all and remove the condition checking and stuff I don't need for a faster startup. Easy to follow, easy to make your own based on those etc.

          I love the simple packaging system too. Easy to roll up your own as well.

          Slackware uses vanilla kernel source and it's very easy (still mostly expected) to use a custom built kernel.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by n3wu53r View Post
            You sound like you'd like Gentoo.
            I've used it a few times over the years. I think I liked it better 10 years ago. My last gentoo install (still there, but stagnant... I use it as a sort of rescue disk when I need to do something from off system) got me poxed off with some circular dependencies with emerge and I went back to Slackware. I wanted Gentoo because I was too lazy to do another Linux from Scratch build and thought of it as a shortcut. I guess the only thing I really dislike about it is the need to do things their way, or you will break portage builds and upgrades.

            But yes, Gentoo is a good distro for people who want to use their own kernels, their way. I never had a problem with that in Gentoo.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Grogan View Post
              As a matter of fact, yes. That's what I've always come back to. I like the simple init scripts ("BSD style")... I go through them all and remove the condition checking and stuff I don't need for a faster startup. Easy to follow, easy to make your own based on those etc.

              I love the simple packaging system too. Easy to roll up your own as well.

              Slackware uses vanilla kernel source and it's very easy (still mostly expected) to use a custom built kernel.
              Thought so, yeah Slackware is cool.

              Unfortunately I'm inheriently a lazy person (and don't have as much time lately) in some ways so I always gravitate back to Arch, but I always have a soft spot for Slackware. And it feels like more pure, simpler Linux system, somehow.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Grogan View Post
                First thing I do is get rid of a distro's kernel and use my own. I don't use distros that can't run without third party patches or initrd images. (Most can run a vanilla kernel compiled the traditional way with necessary stuff built right in but some require you to do it their way. Fedora/Redhat for one)
                Fedora and RHEL isn't anywhere near the same bucket as far as kernels go. The Fedora kernel is very close to upstream and rebases to the latest upstream release fairly frequently even for existing releases.

                https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/KernelRebases

                RHEL on the other hand backports a lot of patches over its lifecycle to maintain ABI stability.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Grogan View Post
                  First thing I do is get rid of a distro's kernel and use my own. I don't use distros that can't run without third party patches or initrd images. (Most can run a vanilla kernel compiled the traditional way with necessary stuff built right in but some require you to do it their way. Fedora/Redhat for one)
                  Up till F17 (after which I switched to Windows permernently) compiling and installing a vanilla upstream kernel was simply a matter of downloading ther tarball from kernel.org, unpacking it, importing the old .config from Fedora's own kernel, making a few changes to the configuration options in make menuconfig (mostly just to enable experimental drivers), doing a 'make rpm', and finally using dracut to create the image and performing grub2-mkconfig -o to add the new kernel to grubby.

                  No special way needed.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                    Up till F17 (after which I switched to Windows permernently) compiling and installing a vanilla upstream kernel was simply a matter of downloading ther tarball from kernel.org, unpacking it, importing the old .config from Fedora's own kernel, making a few changes to the configuration options in make menuconfig (mostly just to enable experimental drivers), doing a 'make rpm', and finally using dracut to create the image and performing grub2-mkconfig -o to add the new kernel to grubby.

                    No special way needed.
                    That is the "special way". The only thing you're not doing their way, is using unpatched kernel source. As I said, I don't like having to use an initrd image (you would find that Fedora/Redhat won't boot without one) and I like my main drivers all built right in my kernel image. Disk controllers, hard disk filesystems... anything needed for serious functioning even if something happens to the modules tree, or module-init-tools programs or whatever. Stuff like audio, CDROM, and various other non hardware stuff that's just used as needed can be modules.

                    make menuconfig
                    make
                    cp arch/x86/boot/bzImage /boot/vmlinuz-x.x.xx
                    make modules_install
                    cp System.map /boot/System.map-x.x.xx

                    I still use LILO too... I prefer its simplicity and (as I like to say) it has no choice but to work.

                    I still like things the old way and to address "having too much time on my hands", I make the time for my own workstation to have the best possible software environment for myself, including custom compiled packages for the system, libraries and any software that I use.

                    Laptop on the other hand... I use Sabayon on it. Custom kernel (my way) and a few other things, but distro packages for everything else. I need more of a fast food type distro there, because I don't have time to compile shit on low end hardware and I need the convenience of things like a graphical network manager because I'm always configuring routers and other networking equipment and need to change network and settings a lot.

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