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Clad in Sky
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:03 pm    Post subject: Do other binary Distros compile a kernel on installation? Reply with quote

I'm having a sort of dispute with someone about Linux stereotypes.
I said that one of the points "You can't expect people to be able to compile their own kernel" is BS, since with distributions like Mint, Suse, Ubuntu and the like you don't have to do that.
He said, a bit tangential to the actual point, that when such a distribution is installed, a kernel will be compiled (automatically, so actually I am right, you don't have to do it yourself) in the background. I never heard of this. I thought they made a generic kernel and just loaded the appropriate modules.
So, any idea if ineed a kernel is compiled? I find it hard to believe, since these installations usually don't take all that long even on older machines and compiling a kernal takes some time (especially on those older machines).
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah it doesn't compile during installation on most binary distroes. It's just a pre-compiled package like any other.

Proof: most binary distros don't install a C compiler or make by default. Without that, how would they compile it?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No idea.
I don't deal much with binary distros and when I do, I do it because I don't want to be bothered with stuff like this. :D
Thanks for the confirmation, though.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

welcome ;).

But yeah, it would take a lot longer to install. The only thing they usually do is they have some scripting majixx to regenerate grub or lilo configs and they update the boot loader like that. Maybe that's what they meant?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mdeininger wrote:
welcome ;).

But yeah, it would take a lot longer to install. The only thing they usually do is they have some scripting majixx to regenerate grub or lilo configs and they update the boot loader like that. Maybe that's what they meant?


exactly

and that is why they need huge ass initrds and everything modular - to support almost everything without the need of a recompile.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just because you can compile a kernel, doesn't mean it will be fast(er) than a kernel from a binary distro (of some tech cred (usually Fedora/RedHat)).
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

notageek wrote:
Just because you can compile a kernel, doesn't mean it will be fast(er) than a kernel from a binary distro (of some tech cred (usually Fedora/RedHat)).


no, not faster, but less burdened and more secure.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

energyman76b wrote:
notageek wrote:
Just because you can compile a kernel, doesn't mean it will be fast(er) than a kernel from a binary distro (of some tech cred (usually Fedora/RedHat)).


no, not faster, but less burdened and more secure.
... by virtue of offering fewer attack vectors due to being leaner in general.

i.e. rule #1 of hardening: if you don't need it, don't offer it and it can't be exploited.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mdeininger wrote:
energyman76b wrote:
notageek wrote:
Just because you can compile a kernel, doesn't mean it will be fast(er) than a kernel from a binary distro (of some tech cred (usually Fedora/RedHat)).


no, not faster, but less burdened and more secure.
... by virtue of offering fewer attack vectors due to being leaner in general.

i.e. rule #1 of hardening: if you don't need it, don't offer it and it can't be exploited.


Well that might be true if the user actually recompiles and installs a new kernel whenever there is a security update or bug fixes, and most of the time it is not true, a leaner and cleaner but obsolete and vulnerable kernel not the best for security :-) How often do people with slow machines update and recompile the kernel?
Most big distro ship most if not every minor kernel release.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

erm67 wrote:
How often do people with slow machines update and recompile the kernel?

I should probably put something like `git pull && make -j3 && make modules_install && etc........` into a cron job, in the hopes that Intel fixes my GPU related bugs. Been doing that for years :D
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

genstorm wrote:
erm67 wrote:
How often do people with slow machines update and recompile the kernel?

I should probably put something like `git pull && make -j3 && make modules_install && etc........` into a cron job, in the hopes that Intel fixes my GPU related bugs. Been doing that for years :D

If you have an intel i9xx GPU you should turn the cron job off, the developers announced there will be problems ahead ........ I actually grep the changelog to see if there something related to my HW before recompiling.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

erm67 wrote:
mdeininger wrote:
energyman76b wrote:
notageek wrote:
Just because you can compile a kernel, doesn't mean it will be fast(er) than a kernel from a binary distro (of some tech cred (usually Fedora/RedHat)).


no, not faster, but less burdened and more secure.
... by virtue of offering fewer attack vectors due to being leaner in general.

i.e. rule #1 of hardening: if you don't need it, don't offer it and it can't be exploited.


Well that might be true if the user actually recompiles and installs a new kernel whenever there is a security update or bug fixes, and most of the time it is not true, a leaner and cleaner but obsolete and vulnerable kernel not the best for security :-) How often do people with slow machines update and recompile the kernel?
Most big distro ship most if not every minor kernel release.


well, that might be true, but I read the announcement around new stable releases very carefully and when all the fixes are in code areas I never use - because I neither use serial nor nifty ipv6 features, nfs, xfs or arm - then I assume that I won't have to care about the security fix somewhere hidden in one of them...
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

energyman76b wrote:

well, that might be true, but I read the announcement around new stable releases very carefully and when all the fixes are in code areas I never use - because I neither use serial nor nifty ipv6 features, nfs, xfs or arm - then I assume that I won't have to care about the security fix somewhere hidden in one of them...


erm67 wrote:
[ I actually grep the changelog to see if there something related to my HW before recompiling.


Recompile every minor release is a waste of resources, anyway all those patches and fixes shows how inferior is linux, take openBSD for example, only 5 patches in the last stable release (it has a 6 months cycle), no patches, no need to recompile and the system is the safest possible (all you need to do is convince yourself).

With Fedora or Arch I prefer to update the kernel every time I intend to reboot without bothering to see if there are changes relevant to my HW. With delta RPM it is usually a few kilobytes download, the kernel update takes just a few seconds of my time.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

erm67 wrote:
anyway all those patches and fixes shows how inferior is linux, take openBSD for example, only 5 patches in the last stable release (it has a 6 months cycle), no patches, no need to recompile and the system is the safest possible (all you need to do is convince yourself).

Wow, at which point has lack of activity become the indicator for quality? :lol:
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

genstorm wrote:
erm67 wrote:
anyway all those patches and fixes shows how inferior is linux, take openBSD for example, only 5 patches in the last stable release (it has a 6 months cycle), no patches, no need to recompile and the system is the safest possible (all you need to do is convince yourself).

Wow, at which point has lack of activity become the indicator for quality? :lol:

The 5 patches are for hearthbleed I think .... otherwise there were a lot less :-) :-) :-)

Anyway my experience with openbsd lasted only a few months so I don't know when it started .... maybe it was always like that. Also I used only STABLE and not CURRENT, because, well ... the day I did checkout CURRENT it would not compile ;-) I guess there's a lot more going on there....
I switched to freebsd now and I think it is going to stay for my small home server. linux and glibc are indeed getting bloated and 32bit is often left behind, some VIA drivers were dropped recently, other don't work in recent kernels ....
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