2.4 vs 2.6

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2.4 vs 2.6

Postby touge_dorifuto » 2006-02-15 15:35

Is there a reason many people are installing the 2.4 kernel these days, or do they just not know about the linux26 flavor?
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Postby Scotti » 2006-02-16 21:40

I'd say because they don't know they should type "linux26" when they install Sarge. Etch and Sid on the other hand install a 2.6 kernel by default.
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Postby Guest » 2006-02-16 21:47

I noticed you're using the 2.6.15 k7 kernel, which is what I'm getting (non-smp). is it stable?
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Postby Scotti » 2006-02-16 21:51

Anonymous wrote:I noticed you're using the 2.6.15 k7 kernel, which is what I'm getting (non-smp). is it stable?


Is Linux stable? I think you know the answer to that. ;)

I don't think they would release a kernel for download if it wasn't stable.
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Postby domecq » 2006-02-17 02:33

dren, please correct me if I'm wrong, but is there a classification for the kernel version that mentions something about an odd number meaning that it's a test version and an even number meaning that it's the stable one that Guest asked about?

Cheers,

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Postby Scotti » 2006-02-17 02:39

Kernel numbering system is as follows: major.minor.patch

I know what you are thinking of. The kernel is not stable when the minor number is an odd number. That's why you only really see kernel 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, etc. The patch number is just that, a new patch for the kernel.
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Postby gabriel » 2006-02-22 17:06

So why the default is 2.4 in the stable release?
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Postby domecq » 2006-02-22 23:41

"You are therefore strongly advised not to upgrade to a 2.6 kernel as part of the upgrade from woody to sarge. Instead, you should first make sure your system works correctly with either the old kernel or with a 2.4 kernel from sarge and do the upgrade to a 2.6 kernel later as a separate project." (1)

From the above text, I assume the reason is to make sure that one has a smooth upgrade from the previous version, which deployed 2.4 kernel version.

(1) Source: http://www.debian.org/releases/stable/i ... ade-to-2.6
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Postby Jeroen » 2006-02-23 00:17

Even now there's still hardware support regression from 2.4 to 2.6. But well, some stuff only works on 2.6, so for new installs, I suggest 2.6.

2.4 is still more stable though, so if stableness is of utmost importance to you, stick with 2.4. There's still some significant bugfixing going on in kernels > 2.6.8 (the 2.6 in Sarge).
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Postby domecq » 2006-02-23 00:22

2.4 is still more stable though, so if stableness is of utmost importance to you, stick with 2.4. There's still some significant bugfixing going on in kernels > 2.6.8 (the 2.6 in Sarge).


So far I experienced only one major bug that resulted in the (in)famous apci hanging issue. Do you have any idea of how's this going?
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Postby jjmac » 2006-03-05 22:54

domecq wrote:dren, please correct me if I'm wrong, but is there a classification for the kernel version that mentions something about an odd number meaning that it's a test version and an even number meaning that it's the stable one that Guest asked about?

Cheers,

domecq



No thats been discontinued, now.
The development process is so fast in 2.6.x. Maintainers have been keeping their development trees seperate. The sub incremental versions along with -rcx versions are considered test releases (2.6.x.x). But the odds/evens on the minor/incremental dosen't apply anymore in that regard.

When/if 2.7 comes out it will be a stable release branch.

Moving to 2.6 was the best thing i ever did and when bugs have arisen, around the 2.6.9 stage, they were quickly fixed.

Iv'e found the -ckx (Con Koliva) patch to be extreamly good as well. It will also incorporate the more stable aspects from other developer trees.

http://bhhdoa.org.au/pipermail/ck/
http://ck.kolivas.org

The increase in desktop performance is stricking with 2.6 compared to 2.4. Essentually due to a more improved code base,concerning the way the kernel deals with scheduling/latency issues.

2.6 approches drive geometries differently to 2.4. It now deals with it, with an ata-ide spec compliance. It will return a 16 head geometry rather than a 255 head based one. This did cause some problems with programs that were expecting a 255 head geometry (FC3). But that was really a problem with those programs lazily relying on none specification behavour and wont occur any more. But generally you need to make sure all the utilities your using are resent versions. Such as things like module-init-tools etc which is also compatable with the 2.4 modutils approach. So that will be a seamless transition. You just need to install the package. All the fdisk, cfdisk parted type programs are best to update to ensure they are ata-ide spec aware. It just means if there going to muck about with disk geometry issues from user-space then they need to do it correctly rather than resting on a M$ smirfed expectation of 255 heads. But thats all trivial really.

Go for the 2.6, you wont know what you ever did before without it.


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Postby Ryujin » 2006-03-09 18:03

Yes, basicly 2.6 is faster, supports newer hardware (ipw2200 to name one) and can manage file transfers better.
The 2.4 kernel is considered more "stable" but I never see any difference.
If you are upgrading an existing instalation of course use the existing kernel tree, but if you are upgrading to Sarge I would recomend a clean install with the 2.6 kernel a LOT of stuff has changed since woody a clean install will most likely run cleaner, have fewer bugs and run faster.
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Postby Jeroen » 2006-03-09 18:06

A clean install certainly isn't needed. Debian is well known for its in-place upgradability. Whether you're doing a clean install or an upgrade from woody, you can benefit from the new 2.6 kernel anyway. Just in the case of the upgrade, ensure you install it and enable it.

A clean install will ruin all your customisations etc...
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Postby Ryujin » 2006-03-09 18:10

True, a clean install does mean setting everything up again, and debian upgrades better than any distro I have seen, I am just a sucker for a nice new install, sorry to express a little too much bias :oops:
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Postby Jeroen » 2006-03-09 18:16

There can be reasons to do a clean install, like, there were setting put weirdly, etc etc, or mistakes you want to repair and start over. But this has not much to do with upgrade, more like with 'reinstall': install again because you want to 'start over' if things are wrong beyond repair.

You listed as reasons "run cleaner, have fewer bugs and run faster.", and the first reason is at least somewhat true: een upgrade will at times simply leave around configuration files when it's unsure what the upgrade should do, wasting a tiny bit of disk. Also sometimes you'll keep configuration files from the previous version instead of replacing it with a new one -- it all depends on the situation whether this is a good thing or not, that's why mostly you're asked about it every time.
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