RHEL2ES kernel question

Matt Domsch Matt_Domsch at dell.com
Wed May 5 07:47:01 CDT 2004

On Mon, May 03, 2004 at 03:56:11PM -0700, Phillip Barker wrote:
> I see that at kernel.org the most current kernel is 2.4.26. But with up2date
> I see the most recent kernel offered is 2.4.9-e.40. 

That's because once Red Hat releases a kernel for a particular
Enterprise Linux product, they don't ever bump the major kernel
version number, only the -EXTRAVERSION bit to indicate newer
versions.  Appropriate work from kernels between 2.4.9 and
2.4.(latest-today) is backported into the 2.4.9-e.XX kernel, where
appropriate is defined as:
1) entered in bugzilla
2) isn't a new feature, such as you'd find in the next-generation
product version
3) is a bug fix
4) is possibly for new hardware support

> When running up2date, a dependency error happens that makes no sense to me. 
> The error is a kernel headers conflict of /usr/include/asm/a.out.h with 
> glibc-kernheaders-2.4-7.16. I've also had the same error occur when running
> rpm manually against manually downloaded rpms from redhat, so I'm confident
> that up2date is working correctly although the kernel upgrade flopped.

rpm -qf /usr/include/asm/a.out.h shows me that that file is owned by
kernel-headers-2.4.9-e.40.  glibc-kernheaders was another name for a
similar package (albeit a newer name used with newer kernels than the
2.4.9-e series).  What version of glibc-kernheaders do you have
installed?  It's safe to rpm -e glibc-kernheaders should you need to -
it *should* only be used for rebuilding glibc.

> I'm considering building my own custom kernel but I'm unsure just how custom
> the current kernel built by Redhat may be. Is this likely to cause more
> trouble than it's worth?

You can do so, but running a different kernel negates the support
contract you paid Red Hat for, so if you care about calling Red Hat
with questions, don't do it.

Red Hat's kernels are extensively patched to address items 1-4 above.
You can see all the patches they apply by doing an rpm -ivh
kernel-2.4.9-e.40.src.rpm and looking in /usr/src/redhat/SOURCES.
It's not trivial what they, nor any OS distribution vendor, does.


Matt Domsch
Sr. Software Engineer, Lead Engineer
Dell Linux Solutions linux.dell.com & www.dell.com/linux
Linux on Dell mailing lists @ http://lists.us.dell.com

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