Re: Experimental kernel

Subject: Re: Experimental kernel
From: Andrew B. Arthur (
Date: Sun Oct 10 1999 - 22:55:26 MDT

> Might it make sense to keep discussions regarding this first cut of the 2.2.12
> kernel on the development list?

It's not really a developmental kernel -- it's suppose to be a stable kernel
designed for everyday use (as the 2.2.x number designates). By getting a
2.2.x version number it's saying that everything in this kernel is robust
and stable and ready for production type work (of course sometimes it
doesn't always work that way -- but...)

Also, 2.2.12 seems to have been around for at least a month (I believe) so
it's fairly well proven as a stable kernel, no major flaws have yet to be

If we were talking about using a beta kernel like 2.3.20, that would be
another thing, since that is a risk since some of the drivers / code have
not been fully tested.

> At the moment it is not an official part of the distribution and is
> technically "experimental".

It's not really experimental. It's an easy upgrade (if you have ever
compiled a kernel before), and should cause no problems at all for you,
since only a few minor changes have been made in the kernel recently.
(Although there are some changes a bit more major then should be, IMHO, but
since I am not a kernel devel I won't comment on that).

> Therefore most of the details are not entirely relevant to the "general" user.

I think they are. They are regular upgrade, that most users should consider
upgrading to, if they need the security updates or newer drivers. Not
everybody needs to upgrade, but that's true with virtually anything. I know
people that a still using 2.0.38 on the x86 arch (including my ISP), and
2.1.124 on the PowerPC (the PowerPC old stable kernel).

On my machine I am still running a kernel 2.2.6, that I compiled sometime in
May '99 -- since it works fine, and I don't really need the security patches
or driver updates.

> Furthermore, a number of the immediate fixes and suggestions will likely
> become obsolete by the time the kernel is official.

The kernel is official now. Both PowerPC Linux kernel developers, general
Linux kernel developers and Linus have certified this kernel stable and
offical so you should be okay to use it.

> possibly making the general archive somewhat confusing when people search it
> at a later date.

Time does that to everything. Look at the PowerPC Linux Fact-O-Matic,
despite many people attempts to remove outdated confusing information from
it, still some exists.

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