Gentoo Developers Exploring The Possibility Of Shipping Distribution Binary Kernels

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 19 December 2019 at 07:07 PM EST. 45 Comments
While much of the lure to Gentoo Linux is on being a source-based distribution and assembling your system packages from source, some Gentoo developers are toying with the idea of providing some new kernel binary options similar to that of the more conventional binary Linux distributions.

Gentoo developer Michał Górny explained some of the problems leading to this new idea with fellow Gentoo developer Михаил Коляда for a distribution binary kernel option. "The worst part is, whenever a new kernel does not boot, I have to ask myself: is it a real bug, or is it my fault for configuring it wrong?"

This proposed Gentoo binary distribution kernel would be a "universal" kernel similar to conventional Linux distributions, run a well-tested and proven kernel configuration, and work with the versatile different configurations of Gentoo. There is already a source-based experimental "vanilla kernel" option available.

An experimental version is packaged via sys-kernel/vanilla-kernel for the source-based vanilla kernel option while pre-built binary packages are still being explored. The addition of sys-kernel/vanilla-kernel was explained as:
New package whose primary purpose is to provide a zero-effort way of ensuring that your system is running a working distribution kernel that gets cleanly upgraded as part of @world upgrades. The secondary goal is to make it possible to build universal binary packages that can be afterwards installed on variety of systems with different hardware, /boot layouts and bootloaders.

More details via this blog post by Górny.
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