Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

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Diesel330
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Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#1 Post by Diesel330 »

I saw this question in the Stack Exchange:
https://unix.stackexchange.com/question ... inux-libre
And they claim there that Debian developing its own kernel. I had the impression that all Linux distributions use kernels developed by the Linux foundation, isn't that true?

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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#2 Post by Head_on_a_Stick »

Diesel330 wrote: 2022-06-12 09:32they claim there that Debian developing its own kernel
No, they don't.
Diesel330 wrote: 2022-06-12 09:32I had the impression that all Linux distributions use kernels developed by the Linux foundation, isn't that true?
Yes. That's why they're called "Linux" distributions.

The "Libre" kernel is also developed from the kernel.org source code but that version is deliberately (and pointlessly) crippled so it's users can't make new wifi cards work and their CPUs are all unstable and vulnerable to known exploits. Don't use the "Libre" kernel, it's bad.
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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#3 Post by canci »

Head_on_a_Stick wrote: 2022-06-12 09:54 vulnerable to known exploits
I'm curious if you have a source for that. Or at least, what do you base this on? Can I assume it's similar to e.g. the way GNU Icecat is constantly lagging behind upstream Firefox?
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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#4 Post by Head_on_a_Stick »

AFAIUI the Linux-Libre kernel cannot load CPU microcode. Most modern CPUs require the microcode fixes because they're crap.

EDIT: and I describe the de-blobbing as "pointless" because any hardware that doesn't load non-free firmware from the operating system has it implanted at the factory instead (look up Stuxnet). This is even true for CoreBoot systems. The battle is lost.
Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick on 2022-06-12 10:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#5 Post by canci »

Thanks.

The microcode thing does make sense. I haven't considered this.
Thus libre kernels maybe only for stuff that's already librebooted or similar.
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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#6 Post by steve_v »

Head_on_a_Stick wrote: 2022-06-12 09:58Stuxnet
To be fair, stuxnet targeted the firmware on siemens PLCs, which is a rather different kettle of fish to your otherwise FOSS PC loading blobs for a bargain-basement wireless chip. The "firmware" on a PLC is effectively a proprietary real-time OS, and usually runs on proprietary silicon as well.
The windows (and wetware) vulerabilities it leveraged to get a connection to said PLC in the first place are rather more mundane, and as is distressingly common in industrial automation, once you're on such a network it's pretty much game-over.

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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#7 Post by Head_on_a_Stick »

Yes but the firmware controllers on hard drives are certainly capable of hosting malware: https://www.kaspersky.co.uk/blog/equati ... ware/6886/

And the new super-fast memory chips also use embedded firmware in their controllers: https://www.devever.net/~hl/omi
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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#8 Post by canci »

Do we get hard disk firmware updates on Linux?
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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#9 Post by steve_v »

canci wrote: 2022-06-12 10:46 Do we get hard disk firmware updates on Linux?
I have flashed HDD and SSD firmware before, but it's certainly not something that gets loaded by the OS on a regular basis... And IME booting DOS (or properly, a manufacturers DOS based boot disk) is the only way to do it.

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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#10 Post by Head_on_a_Stick »

canci wrote: 2022-06-12 10:46 Do we get hard disk firmware updates on Linux?
See https://wiki.debian.org/Firmware/Updates

I use fwupd for my ThinkPad.
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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#11 Post by canci »

Thanks. I'll check if this is viable for my devices. I know that Thinkpads and similar business devices usually have fwupd support, but not sure about my Asus laptop.
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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#12 Post by LE_746F6D617A7A69 »

Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?
The answer can be YES, because Debian is patching the upstream kernel code -> here You have a "list" of changes:
https://salsa.debian.org/kernel-team/li ... hes/bugfix

However, the answer could be also NO: those patches are *usually* bugfixes and security updates which are back-ported from latest upstream kernels.

So, while Debian is a GNU/Linux distribution, there can be differences in the kernel code.

Head_on_a_Stick wrote: 2022-06-12 09:58The battle is lost.
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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#13 Post by Diesel330 »

LE_746F6D617A7A69 wrote: 2022-06-13 20:30
Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?
The answer can be YES, because Debian is patching the upstream kernel code -> here You have a "list" of changes:
https://salsa.debian.org/kernel-team/li ... hes/bugfix

However, the answer could be also NO: those patches are *usually* bugfixes and security updates which are back-ported from latest upstream kernels.

So, while Debian is a GNU/Linux distribution, there can be differences in the kernel code.

Head_on_a_Stick wrote: 2022-06-12 09:58The battle is lost.
... only when You give up ;)
Nice to hear that Debian community also take care the kernel or peer review it, good to know

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Re: Has Debian its own version of Linux Kernel?

#14 Post by user6c57b8 »

Some statistics (FACTS) comparing the Debian Stable kernel source VS Linus' Github Linux kernel source clone

Code: Select all

find src-linux-kernel-debian/linux-5.10.106/  -type f | wc -l #Debian 11.3 (stable/bullseye)
72931

Code: Select all

find src-linux-kernel-linus/linux/ -type f | wc -l
76913

Code: Select all

diff --recursive --report-identical-files src-linux-kernel-linus/linux/ src-linux-kernel-debian/linux-5.10.106/ | egrep 'are identical$' | wc -l
36405

Code: Select all

ls -l src-linux-kernel-linus/ | tail -1 | awk '{print $6, $7, $8}'
Jun 16 09:26

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