Why to upgrade the linux kernel?

Adam H. Pendleton fmonkey at fmonkey.net
Mon Apr 22 17:12:01 CDT 2002

While I don't doubt that the RedHat engineers spend quite a bit of time
stress-testing each kernel before they release it, it does bother me
somewhat that a kernel release from RedHat includes usually dozens of
patches to the kernel, in effect making it a different kernel than one
that is considered "official" (i.e., a kernel.org kernel).  I've always
wondered what these patches are, and if they are beneficial to the linux
kernel, why aren't they included in the stock kernel.  And there have
been instances in the past where RedHat has taken a completely different
route with a software package then the software maintainers themselves.
GCC is a perfect example of this, as the gcc included with RedHat (gcc
2), is based on a version which GNU said never should be run in a
production environment.  I'm sure there are very good reasons for all of
these patches, but I've never felt comfortable running patches that I
don't really know anything about.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Matt_Domsch at Dell.com [mailto:Matt_Domsch at Dell.com]
> Sent: Monday, April 22, 2002 15:54
> To: fmonkey at fmonkey.net; tarunb at lightsand.com; aly.dharshi at uleth.ca
> Cc: Linux-PowerEdge at Dell.com
> Subject: RE: Why to upgrade the linux kernel?
> > IMHO it leads to
> > systems which are far more stable than any RedHat kernel release.
> > to mention you can stay closer to the current Linux kernel than
> > allows.
> IMHO, the Red Hat provided kernels are quite stable - we (and others)
> stress
> test them like you wouldn't believe.  There are advantages to building
> yourself, but if you're not so inclined, the Red Hat kernels tend to
> *more* stable than simply, say, the stock kernel from kernel.org.
> Hat
> kernel 2.4.9-31 is *far* more stable than kernel.org's 2.4.9 kernel.)
> can achieve the same level of stability by patching the whole thing up
> yourself, but that's why you're buying from Dell/Red Hat now, right?
> Thanks,
> Matt
> --
> Matt Domsch
> Sr. Software Engineer
> Dell Linux Solutions www.dell.com/linux
> Linux on Dell mailing lists @ http://lists.us.dell.com
> #1 US Linux Server provider for 2001!

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