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Pruning some kernels from portage & some important hotplug info
Posted on 13 November 2004 by Daniel Drake

gentoo

Important sys-apps/hotplug behaviour change

Previous hotplug releases included an init.d script used to detect hardware at bootup and aggressively load relevant modules. Technically, this is not hotplugging (hotplugging is when you plug in a device during normal system operation, hotplug aims to make this possible).

For this reason, the automatic loading modules at bootup functionality has been removed from the 20040923 hotplug release, and moved into the more appropriately named coldplug package.

After upgrading to the latest hotplug release, if you notice that important modules are no longer being loaded for you at bootup, then you probably want to install and activate coldplug in order to retain the old behaviour.

Code Listing 1.1: Installing and activating coldplug

# emerge coldplug
# rc-update add coldplug boot

Please be advised that it is much safer to achieve this by listing the modules you need loaded in /etc/modules.autoload.d/kernel-2.x. coldplug is quite aggressive and sometimes causes problems here.

Some kernel packages have been removed from portage:

In order to keep our kernel packages manageable, we have recently removed some of the older and unmaintained packages from the tree. We have produced documentation to assist existing users in the migration to other kernel packages.

Please read the section below relevant to the kernel you are running, and follow some of our new documentation to migrate to another kernel package:

  • If you are migrating to another kernel package of the same branch, then you should read the Gentoo Linux Kernel Upgrade Guide. For example, if you are migrating from gs-sources (based on the Linux 2.4 branch) to gentoo-sources (also based on the 2.4 branch) then this is the document you should follow.
  • If you are migrating from the Linux 2.4 branch to 2.6, then you should read the The Gentoo Linux 2.6 Migration Guide. Please remember that our default kernels are still based on Linux 2.4 (Linux 2.6 will become default at a later date), and bear in mind that migrating from 2.4 to 2.6 is a bigger operation than migrating from one 2.4 kernel to another.

For a complete listing of the different kernel packages that are available, please examine the Kernel Guide.

aa-sources

The upstream maintainer, Andrea Arcangeli, has stopped producing kernel patchsets. The latest releases of this kernel package are out of date, presenting security and maintenance problems.

The aa-sources title currently provides ebuilds for both Linux 2.4 and 2.6 based kernels. Users running aa-sources-2.4.x are encouraged to migrate to gentoo-sources, and users running aa-sources-2.6.x are encouraged to migrate to gentoo-dev-sources.

alpha-sources

alpha-sources was a Linux 2.4 based kernel which included patches to improve hardware compatibility with systems based on the Alpha processor. These fixes are now incorporated with the mainline kernel, meaning that it is no longer necessary for us to maintain a seperate kernel for the Alpha architecture.

Alpha users wishing to stick with Linux 2.4 are encouraged to migrate to gentoo-sources. Users wishing to migrate to Linux 2.6 are encouraged towards gentoo-dev-sources.

Note that alpha-sources isn't completely removed yet, because gentoo-sources does not offer the sysctl UAC configuration feature. This will be resolved soon.

gaming-sources

This package was removed from Portage some time ago, but we thought we should use this opportunity to announce it officially. gaming-sources included a 'broken' CPU scheduler which gave a performance boost to some applications. This broken scheduler was not ported onto future kernel releases, so became out of date. At the same time, improvements going into the development tree mean that equivalent high performance is also present in Linux 2.6.

Users wishing to stick with Linux 2.4 are encouraged to migrate to gentoo-sources. Users wishing to migrate to Linux 2.6 are encouraged towards gentoo-dev-sources. Alternatively, ck-sources will be another popular choice - this kernel is geared towards maximum performance, and packages for both Linux 2.4 and 2.6 are available. Please note that ck-sources is not developed or supported by ourselves.

gs-sources

Once flagged as the kernel choice for servers, gs-sources is no longer maintained, out of date, and has built up a series of problems. This package has been removed from portage.

Desktop users wishing to remain on Linux 2.4 are recommended to migrate to gentoo-sources. Or, if you wish to migrate to Linux 2.6, then you should migrate to gentoo-dev-sources.

Users currently running this kernel on server type systems are recommended to migrate to hardened-sources, our Linux 2.4-based kernel targeted at stability and security. Alternatively, users wishing to migrate to Linux 2.6 should head for hardened-dev-sources.

ia64-sources

Originally provided for supporting IA-64 architecture and its hardware, the work that went into ia64-sources has been merged into the mainline Linux development tree. This means that this package is no longer required, as IA-64 machines can work well with any recent 2.6 kernel.

Desktop users are encouraged to migrate to gentoo-dev-sources, and users running server systems are encouraged to migrate to hardened-dev-sources.

pac-sources

pac-sources was an uncommon kernel package designed to enhance multimedia, based on Linux 2.4. It has been unmaintained for some time and has become outdated.

If you wish to remain with Linux 2.4, you are encouraged to migrate to gentoo-sources. For maximum multimedia performance, you may wish to move up to Linux 2.6, in which case, gentoo-dev-sources would be the recommended choice.

planet-ccrma-sources

This package was removed some time ago, but we are using this opportunity to formally announce it. planet-ccrma-sources, similarly to pac-sources, was a kernel package optimized for audio applications. This work has been superseded by development in the Linux 2.6 branch.

If you wish to remain with Linux 2.4, you are encouraged to migrate to gentoo-sources. For a maximum audio experience, you may wish to move up to Linux 2.6, in which case, gentoo-dev-sources would be the recommended choice.

selinux-sources

selinux-sources was a Linux 2.4 based kernel enhanced with security-based patches from the NSA. This patchset is no longer maintained, and equivalent work (plus other security options) are now included in Linux 2.6.

If you wish to remain with Linux 2.4, you are encouraged to migrate to hardened-sources. However, as the Linux 2.6 kernel offers greatly enhanced security features, users are urged to switch to hardened-dev-sources.




Page updated 13 November 2004

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