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  • Gentoo Offers Up New Easy Kernel Options

    Phoronix: Gentoo Offers Up New Easy Kernel Options

    Gentoo Linux is looking to improve the kernel maintenance experience by offering up Ebuilds that make it easier to maintain the kernel through the package manager -- including prebuilt binary kernels...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...Kernel-Options

  • #2
    vanilla-sources has been in the tree since forever, the only difference is the pre-built binary kernel, which is an affront to most gentoo users.

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    • #3
      These packages have been available for a bit, this is more of a formal announcement so more users are made aware of it.

      They are quiet nice, removes some of the maintenance burden of the user. This is AFAIK the first time there's a support kernel config in the tree which is nice for those that don't really want to/can't spend the time to configure/update the kernel themselves all the time.

      Originally posted by some_canuck View Post
      vanilla-sources has been in the tree since forever
      That's correct, but that's not what these packages are about. sys-kernel/*-sources only install the sources, the user then needs to configure, build and install the kernel as well as create the initramfs if they use it and update their bootloader.
      These new packages take care of all (or most, depending on your preferences) of this process.

      Originally posted by some_canuck View Post
      which is an affront to most gentoo users.
      Why?
      Last edited by aaahaaap; 09-16-2020, 07:29 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by aaahaaap View Post
        Why?
        Because we have this idea that compiling for the exact machine it will run on will make it all slightly more efficient.
        My personal reason is: disable features I don't use to potentially reduce the attack surface.

        I am a fan of these packages: It installs the sources, and also builds them (like for the rest of the system)! All the while allowing the user to configure the build using savedconfig. All I need is to find how to create a postinstall hook to take care of some more manual stuff, and the last manual update is gone.
        The complete binary package is welcome for newcommers, as the build can take quite some time.

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        • #5
          To my minds eye, you could have newer kernel's installed within a matter of seconds/a minute and test against your existing builds for a faster diagnosis should you break your custom kernel or configs.

          Makes sense to me to always have a prebuilt to compare against.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by aaahaaap View Post
            They are quiet nice, removes some of the maintenance burden of the user. This is AFAIK the first time there's a support kernel config in the tree which is nice for those that don't really want to/can't spend the time to configure/update the kernel themselves all the time.

            That's correct, but that's not what these packages are about. sys-kernel/*-sources only install the sources, the user then needs to configure and build the kernel (+ create initramfs if they use it + update their bootloader).
            These new packages take care of all (or most, depending on your preferences) of this process.
            You can use genkernel which uses a default kernel config and takes care of initramfs as well to build a kernel without doing any configuration.

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            • #7
              Also of note: Gentoo's 5.4 LTS kernel has the WireGuard backport.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Serafean View Post
                Because we have this idea that compiling for the exact machine it will run on will make it all slightly more efficient.
                My personal reason is: disable features I don't use to potentially reduce the attack surface.

                I am a fan of these packages: It installs the sources, and also builds them (like for the rest of the system)! All the while allowing the user to configure the build using savedconfig. All I need is to find how to create a postinstall hook to take care of some more manual stuff, and the last manual update is gone.
                The complete binary package is welcome for newcommers, as the build can take quite some time.
                The problem with Gentoo "ricers" is this: They make such claims but provide no standardized testing proof to back it up.

                By "standardized" I mean this: "A broad set of many tests that you can run across multiple systems where the test setups are consistent across all systems and the test outputs are presented in a standard format for easy comparison."

                I hear Phoronix has a great test suite that should run on Gentoo. Let's see the Gentoo "ricers" use it to compare the performance of these prebuilt kernels to their best efforts at "ricing a kernel".

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by NotMine999 View Post
                  The problem with Gentoo "ricers" is this: They make such claims but provide no standardized testing proof to back it up.
                  For me it's not really about performance. I'm using relatively conservative CFLAGS and build semi-generic binary packages that run on all my machines. The real killer feature are the USE-flags: They allow you to specify build-time dependencies and therefore to massively trim down on dependencies. Also, it's a rolling distro and you can apply custom patches to packages. That is much more valuable than a questionable performance improvement.

                  EDIT: And version bumps or even creating new packages is super easy. Usually it's enough to rename an ebuild for a version bump, and writing custom ebuilds isn't very hard either.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by trilean View Post
                    Also, it's a rolling distro and you can apply custom patches to packages.
                    It's a rolling distro AND with a stable branch. I don't know any other big distro stable and rolling. With the stable branch, I get decently recent software, without the inconvenients of bleeding-edge versions.

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