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Thread: Switching to vanilla kernel - pros and cons?

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Switching to vanilla kernel - pros and cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by heyjoe View Post
    The problem with that is that you don't know what "risks" you are taking in either situation, unless you have personally inspected all patches and compared the results from them (which I doubt is humanly possible for a single person). So you are introducing trust for the sake of favoring one of two things without a factual basis, perhaps only based on preference or other indirect clues.

    Yet the larger community of vanilla kernel is a fact.

    So I wonder what makes you think you are "safer" with one risk than the other?

    [I am not saying that you are wrong (or right), since I have not inspected the code myself either. Just trying to stay on ground]
    My understanding (again, I hope I'm correct) is that the openSUSE/SUSE kernel is supposed to be based on a vanilla release, so you're building on a kernel with all vanilla contributions. If my understanding is true, then unless there is a mistake you can assume that the openSUSE/SUSE kernel is not less secure or optimized than vanilla.

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  2. #12

    Default Re: Switching to vanilla kernel - pros and cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by OrsoBruno View Post
    I don't know how deep you are willing to go, but openSUSE source is, as the name implies, OPEN and can be inspected at https://build.opensuse.org/package/s...kernel-default

    SUSE patches are here:
    https://build.opensuse.org/source/op...7136367beaa6e2
    Thanks. As I mentioned earlier it is not about want but about physical possibility. Inspecting thousands (perhaps even millions) of lines of code on a regular basis is a community scale effort.

    In my view there are no "secret" blobs,
    How do you know? I am not saying there are but have you checked?

    in fact some distro hoppers complain that openSUSE have too little proprietary stuff included in the distribution.
    Makes no sense. Why don't they simply stick with proprietary OS?

    Quote Originally Posted by nrickert View Post
    As far as I know, most of the SUSE modifications of the kernel are backpatching security updates. That is, they take security changes from the latest kernel, and insert them into the current kernel.
    Thanks for the info. So if I understand correctly SUSE takes from newer vanilla and patches an older vanilla. What would be the benefit of this compared to simply using vanilla and updating to it? Also where do you get this info?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsu2 View Post
    My understanding (again, I hope I'm correct) is that the openSUSE/SUSE kernel is supposed to be based on a vanilla release, so you're building on a kernel with all vanilla contributions. If my understanding is true, then unless there is a mistake you can assume that the openSUSE/SUSE kernel is not less secure or optimized than vanilla.
    As you mention security again - I think that in regards to it assumptions without verification could be dangerous. Perhaps if anyone who has looked into it can provide more facts. Of course I hope you are correct too and we can speculate and build logical mental structures but that would be nothing more than our imagination.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Switching to vanilla kernel - pros and cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsu2 View Post
    My understanding (again, I hope I'm correct) is that the openSUSE/SUSE kernel is supposed to be based on a vanilla release, so you're building on a kernel with all vanilla contributions. If my understanding is true, then unless there is a mistake you can assume that the openSUSE/SUSE kernel is not less secure or optimized than vanilla.

    TSU
    This is indeed the case. Quoting from the kernel-default.spec file:
    Main: Leap 15 Gnome on i7 4720HQ + Geforce GTX960M
    Test: Leap 42.3 (& others) on Core2Duo + GM965

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Switching to vanilla kernel - pros and cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by heyjoe View Post
    Thanks. As I mentioned earlier it is not about want but about physical possibility. Inspecting thousands (perhaps even millions) of lines of code on a regular basis is a community scale effort.
    ...
    How do you know? I am not saying there are but have you checked?
    I'm not going to argue any further. My personal experience is that if you file or help testing a few bugs that end up in the kernel area:
    - you interact with a handful of competent kernel specialists (not many distros out here can have such people readily available);
    - see those same people being among the key contributors to the vanilla kernel upstream;
    - you may be requested to install and test the vanilla kernel to understand if the problem comes from upstream or from one of the (open)SUSE patches (in fact the only instances in which I used the vanilla kernel);
    - see that bugfixes and patches of general interest are indeed submitted upstream, but weeks after they are available to openSUSE they may or may not be accepted since they might or might not be compatible with other distros using the upstream code.

    That is enough for me to use an openSUSE kernel on an openSUSE OS, since in that OS context it is more, not less, than the upstream vanilla kernel.
    But as usual Linux offers choice, so I'm not going to convince anybody to do the same. You could also use Linux From Scratch if you only trust upstream code.

    WRT backporting practices, AFAIK the main reason is preserving the kernel ABI to ensure stability of basic code for some 3 yrs across minor releases (say 42.1 through 42.3); switching kernel version from, say, 4.x to 4.y cannot guarantee that and might break your custom code or tool chain. But since I'm no kernel developer I might be mistaken here.
    Main: Leap 15 Gnome on i7 4720HQ + Geforce GTX960M
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  5. #15

    Default Re: Switching to vanilla kernel - pros and cons?

    Thanks for the additional info OrsoBruno.
    I wasn't looking for an argument but for facts.

    LFS is something I am going to look into some day - not because of distrust to openSUSE but rather because it looks very interesting. I have also been curious about Gentoo recently. But of course all that needs a lot of time and I am very spoiled by Yast right now

    As for patches/development process - can you recommend any official log/rss feed which one can follow the development changes of both openSUSE and vanilla kernel? I mean - not the super detailed commits like "fix spelling in comment" or "change variable names to more readable" but the essential stuff (hopefully in a human language). Do you know about that?

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Switching to vanilla kernel - pros and cons?

    Quote Originally Posted by heyjoe View Post
    As for patches/development process - can you recommend any official log/rss feed which one can follow the development changes of both openSUSE and vanilla kernel? I mean - not the super detailed commits like "fix spelling in comment" or "change variable names to more readable" but the essential stuff (hopefully in a human language). Do you know about that?
    You mean like these?
    https://www.kernel.org/feeds/kdist.xml
    https://lkml.org/rss.php
    http://dir.gmane.org/gmane.linux.kernel
    openSUSE Leap 15.0; KDE Plasma 5

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Switching to vanilla kernel - pros and cons?

    For openSUSE kernel info, start here...
    https://en.opensuse.org/Portal:Kernel
    openSUSE Leap 15.0; KDE Plasma 5

  8. #18

    Default Re: Switching to vanilla kernel - pros and cons?

    Yes, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by deano_ferrari View Post
    For openSUSE kernel info, start here...
    https://en.opensuse.org/Portal:Kernel
    I am trying to find rss/atom feed for openSUSE's kernel git but I can't find any?

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