Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Kernel Stability Discussion 2.4 vs 2.6

Kernel Version was released this week. I use 2.6.13 on a Slackware machine for my personal Gaming and internet machine. A debate got started over stability in kernel 2.4 vs 2.6 where i felt that 2.6 was just as stable. This debate was ofcourse in a forum. Opinions differed as widely as they always do in a forum. Some explaining that 2.4 is in a maintenance cycle and 2.6 is in rapid development so that contributes to the stability of the new kernels. However in a practicle sense I feel 2.6 is stable enough for my own usage. Many Distros feel the same way and bundle thiers with the 2.6. Others though like i mentioned one being Slackware keeps itself on an older kernel for issues of stability. Debian "stable" is another that does this. Well i have come across distros that chose to stay further back. One in particular uses the 2.2 kernel. Now granted this is not a commonly used distro but an obscure one. Distrobutions should feel free to choose what ever kernel they want. That is one of the glorious things about Linux is the diversity in choices. You are free to choose what every options you want in a distro. Even when a distro doesnt meet your needs you can either customize it, build it from scratch or choose another that does. Linux from Scratch is one of those projects that shows you how. I always advise against developing another distro but creating your own personal distro from scratch I am in favor of. Just dont feel the need to release yet another distro. I will bring this all back around and say that its possible in all distrobutions to upgrade the kernel to a newer release so there is nothing to stop you from unfurling your wings. I feel for most average users 2.4 and 2.6 kernels are just as stable as each other on a standard basis. I think this was the concencious among all in the discussion over which they choose. I still plan on upgrading my core packages to 11 from the 10.2 version i currently run. I will of course still run a 2.6 kernel. I think my disatisfaction in Slackware is more inconvienence of having to go through so much trouble of installing the 2.6 kernel and upgrading the 2.4 packages (modules, alsa, etc) to the 2.6 kernel packages. I think that Pat would make things easier on us if in his installer if you choose a 2.6 kernel that it installs everything you need for the 2.6 kernel even if 2.4 is still default. I think it would help smooth the transition between kernel versions when it comes time for Pat to do so.

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