kernel versions/ updates etc.

kernel versions/ updates etc.

Post by Frits Hooglan » Fri, 09 Oct 1998 04:00:00


I read much about kernel versions. What does that version number mean?
Has it to do with additional components installed (libc, pproc, gcc,
etc). Or can I download the new kernel and just install it?




kernel versions/ updates etc.

Post by Dirk Huesk » Fri, 09 Oct 1998 04:00:00


>I read much about kernel versions. What does that version number mean?
>Has it to do with additional components installed (libc, pproc, gcc,
>etc). Or can I download the new kernel and just install it?

There is a rule for the kernel's version number. The version number
consists of three parts and is written like

The major version rarely changes. At this point, major version 2 is current.

The catch with the minor version: There are always two minor versions that
are current. One has an even number (eg. 1.2.13, 2.0.35) and is the stable
kernel. These kernels are to be used in environments where stability plays
an important factor. They may not be as feature-rich, but stable.

An odd minor version (eg. 1.3.56, 2.1.124) means the kernel is a
development kernel. New features are constantly added to this branch.
However, because of new, experimental features, they are not always as
stable and are to be used at one's own risk. They often contain buggy code.
At some point in time, Linus decides to "freeze" addition of new features,
and the only enhancements made are for stability. When a certain grade of
stability is reached, it is renamed and becomes the new stable kernel.

The pl number is the patchlevel. In stable kernel, patches are generally
applied to improve stability and reliability. In deverloper kernels,
patches often contain brand-new code that is yet to be tested.

1.1(devel) -------> 1.2(stable)
                \-> 1.3(devel)--------> 2.0(stable)
                                   \--> 2.1(devel) --------> 2.2(stable)
                                                        \--> 2.3(devel)

The 2.1 kernel has been feature-frozen for several weeks, and is expected
to turn into 2.2.0 in some weeks (or months? nobody knows..)

Linus, as the maintainer of the "official" kernel releases, takes care of
the numbering.

You can just go ahead and download a new kernel if you like. It does not
have anything to do with other software that is installed. However,
sometimes a kernel requires a certain version of the compiler, linker, or C
libs. There is alist of required software in the Changes file that comes
with every new release.

To install a new kernel, you best grab the source from somewhere along with
any patches you'd like. Unpack it, configure it, and compile it. The
Kernel-HOWTO explains how that is done.


PGP Public Key:


1. SLS mini-update: kernel src/map, non-vga fontpak fix, etc

Just a minor update to fix a few problems, notably, the kernel source
being corrupt, and the fontpak patches not working with non VGA/EGA.
You may all want to download a1 and a2 again, so that the system map
is accurate, and can be used in problem determination.

BTW:  I will try to get new versions of lilo and procps up in the next
few days.  

Over time, I find that the Softlanding release of SLS (the official one)
tends to drift from the tsx one.  This because Softlanding gets a whole
new dist, with updates every few days.  Therefore, in a few weeks and every
2-6 weeks after that, I will probably do a bulk upload of the whole new
SLS, to help keep it in sync.  Thus the dates will have changed, but
the ChangeLog file will still just note the changed components (to
the best of my knowledge).

Here is the addition to ChangeLog (aka HISTORY):

930304: a1: new 99p6 boot image (fontpak non-vga fix)
        a2: new root image (fontpak non-vga fix)
        b4/lx99p6.tpz: new kernel source (fontpak non-vga fix/non corrupt)
        b4/menus.tpz: updated sysinstall
        b4/syssetup.tpz: updated syssetup/sysperms
        b4/sysmap.tpz: kernel system map

2. Volume Manager for linux

3. version.h missing/kernel update

4. Emacs arrow keys under X - not working

5. Linux Joystick Mini HowTo Version 0.05 UPDATED for kernel 2.4.10

6. Apache-1.3.19 and Aliasing NOT WORKING!!!

7. iMac Linux Site - updated (kernel build howto etc)

8. 3com 3c900b-tpo NIC

9. when the new kernel version updated what should be chnaged in device driver code?

10. version.h missing/kernel update

11. xfree86 update fails (module ABI minor Version is newer than the server's version)

12. Version Update/Package Update

13. [4/4]: Ext2/3 updates: Update required e2fsprogs version