[linux-elitists] Stable distro kernel rant

Jason Spence jspence@lightconsulting.com
Sun Jan 25 14:53:02 PST 2004


On Sat, Jan 24, 2004 at 11:59:22AM -0800, Rick Moen wrote: 
> > Remember what started this thread?  Someone complained that their kernel
> > did not support their latest devices.  These devices weren't even
> > available when the 2.4.18 kernel was released.  So how that person
> > expected their 2 year old kernel to support their month old device is
> > beyond me...
> 
Actually, Adam was looking for hardware and I was bitching about
out-of-the-box distribution support for said hardware.

The point that I was trying to make was that the distribution
maintainers do not focus on supporting specific models of laptops, and
that the nature of the kernel release cycle causes a dip in the
quality of support of recent hardware by the current even-numbered
kernel while the next even-numbered kernel is prepped for release.

Some people made very convincing arguments that running development
kernels may not be such a bad thing, and that the dip may not have
been so bad this release cycle, so running the bleeding-edge may be a
valid solution to this problem for many people.  Someone else and I
pointed out that power management could be better, even with the most
recent kernels, and that (via a link) the necessary changes to make it
better will require every driver to be touched.

If one wants to purchase full support for a specific laptop model, it
seems the best option is emperorlinux at the moment [1].

> Well, it pretty much begged for the "Well, don't do that, then" response
> that he got.  (I entered the discussion merely to point out that _no_
> Debian branch is, in fact, welded to any obsolete kernel, and that the
> poster would do well to quit behaving as if his hands were broken.)

The thing I was complaining about was not that it was impossible to
run more recent kernels on debian-stable or another branch lacking the
latest kernel package in its pool, but rather that porting the
packages may be an excessive overhead for one site that I maintain.
The fact that make-kpkg isn't exactly the friendliest tool in the
world also increases the difficulty of the task.

A generalization of this point is that, although one may be perfectly
capable of taking the option requiring more technical competence, it
is not necessarily the best or efficient way to get the job done.

[1] Thanks to whoever pointed them out; I didn't know they were still
around and it seems their product has become even better somehow.

-- 
 - Jason              Last known location:  0.6 miles southeast of Fremont, CA

Pushing 40 is exercise enough.



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