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Old 04-29-2008, 09:16 PM   #1
Drone4four
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What the hell is a vanilla kernel?


I Googled vanilla kernel and a wikipedia entry explains it as:

Quote:
Further developing his own code and integrating changes made by other programmers, Linus Torvalds keeps releasing new versions of the Linux kernel. These are called "vanilla" kernels, meaning they have not been further modified by anyone. Many Linux operating system vendors modify the kernels of their product, mainly in order to add support for drivers or features which have not officially been released as stable, while some distributions rely on vanilla kernels.
What does this mean? Does it mean that a vanilla kernel is Torvalds' custom built kernel?

The other links on Google are how-tos, rather than explain what a vanilla kernel is.
 
Old 04-29-2008, 09:26 PM   #2
frndrfoe
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I guess "vanilla" is a misnomer since it is also a flavor.

I guess if any flavor is going to be "generic" so to speak, it would be the one from Linus since it is his baby.

Can you really refer to his kernel as custom? I guess then that they are all custom.

This seems like more of a philosophical discussion.
 
Old 04-29-2008, 09:27 PM   #3
Smedley
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Vanilla Kernel

This is the "official" mainline version of the Linux kernel maintained by Linus Torvalds. It is the base for all distributions and for all kernel development activities. The vanilla kernel can be downloaded from http://www.kernel.org/.
 
Old 04-29-2008, 09:36 PM   #4
pljvaldez
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As the other posters mention, the "vanilla" kernel is the official kernel.

Most distros add patches of different sorts to the kernels released with the distros. Some might contain certain experimental drivers or work arounds that haven't been merged yet (like maybe support for rieser4 or some new wireless card). So you can have a Debian stock kernel, or a Fedora stock kernel, etc. These may have slightly different patchsets, but they're all built from linux.org's "vanilla" kernel.
 
Old 04-29-2008, 11:51 PM   #5
newtovanilla
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Question

1) Does that mean that if I download the kernel sources and configure the kernel and build it that it is then a Vanilla kernel? What if I change the configuration, and rebuild it. The two kernels are different. Are they both Vanilla kernels then?

2) Do you get the source for the strawberry, chocolate, and other flavors that distributions add to the Vanilla kernel? Does someone know what they add to make it a "Strawberry" kernel? "Chocolate" kernel?
_____________________________________________

I gave Linux a try because of M$crosoft. My M$crosoft ME started to huff and puff and told me to get Vista. I tried to recompile my M$crosoft ME, but I did not know where to start. Now, I have been compiling Linux. It compiles. I just got to get it to boot.
 
Old 04-29-2008, 11:55 PM   #6
billymayday
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That's easy - you just need the sauce

Last edited by billymayday; 04-29-2008 at 11:56 PM.
 
Old 04-30-2008, 07:10 AM   #7
sundialsvcs
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Probably the most interesting kernel flavor is Strawberry Daquiri... it integrates the R.U.M. user-interface, which is most beguiling.

I think I'll have another ...
 
Old 04-30-2008, 08:27 AM   #8
SlowCoder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newtovanilla View Post
1) Does that mean that if I download the kernel sources and configure the kernel and build it that it is then a Vanilla kernel? What if I change the configuration, and rebuild it. The two kernels are different. Are they both Vanilla kernels then?
From the perspective of the original kernel, your modified kernel will not be vanilla. However, from your standpoint, should you decide to build a few distros using the modified kernel as a base, then yes, your kernel will be vanilla for YOUR distros.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtovanilla View Post
2) Do you get the source for the strawberry, chocolate, and other flavors that distributions add to the Vanilla kernel? Does someone know what they add to make it a "Strawberry" kernel? "Chocolate" kernel?
This is getting tasty! Need to make a stop by TCBY at lunch!
 
Old 04-30-2008, 08:32 AM   #9
tuxrules
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newtovanilla View Post
1) Does that mean that if I download the kernel sources and configure the kernel and build it that it is then a Vanilla kernel? What if I change the configuration, and rebuild it. The two kernels are different. Are they both Vanilla kernels then?
If you apply patches to the kernel downloaded from kernel.org then it won't be called a "vanilla kernel". Changing the configuration and rebuilding doesn't involve changing the source code so you would still be running "vanilla kernel", however, if you change the underlying source code and build again, then you are not running "vanilla kernel".

BTW, Slackware uses kernels directly from kernel.org (without any patches) and hence you'll see lot of references to Slackware when you dig "vanilla kernel".

Last edited by tuxrules; 04-30-2008 at 08:33 AM.
 
Old 04-30-2008, 08:57 AM   #10
Agrouf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newtovanilla View Post
2) Do you get the source for the strawberry, chocolate, and other flavors that distributions add to the Vanilla kernel? Does someone know what they add to make it a "Strawberry" kernel? "Chocolate" kernel?
Yes, we know what the distributions add to make is strawberry. It is actually illegal as it would break the GPL if the distributors didn't tell you what they do to make it strawberry. So yes, how to make strawberry kernels is documented and the documentation available for free.
 
Old 04-30-2008, 07:38 PM   #11
newtovanilla
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hundres of Vanilla kernels?

"If you apply patches to the kernel downloaded from kernel.org then it won't be called a "vanilla kernel". Changing the configuration and rebuilding doesn't involve changing the source code so you would still be running "vanilla kernel", however, if you change the underlying source code and build again, then you are not running "vanilla kernel"."

For one kernel such as the 2.6.25 latest kernel, there are hundreds of Vanilla Kernels for that kernel version? If I run make menuconfig and build a vanilla kernel, then run make menuconfig with different options and build another vanilla kernel that is different than the first one, and continue until I have hundreds of vanilla kernels, they are all different! They are all Vanilla Kernels of 2.6.25! This would put 31 Flavors out of business! Hundreds of Vanilla! Thank you for clearing this up for me. The other post was wrong then that said that if you change the configuration that you do not have a vanilla kernel?
 
Old 04-30-2008, 08:47 PM   #12
win32sux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newtovanilla View Post
The other post was wrong then that said that if you change the configuration that you do not have a vanilla kernel?
I don't see that post anywhere. But either way, it's very simple. Any kernel built from the official and unmodified sources from a kernel.org release is referred to as a vanilla kernel. It doesn't matter what kernel configuration options you choose when you build it - it's still vanilla-flavored. The vanilla flavor is only affected when you modify the source code, such as distros like Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, etc. do all the time. Some distros, such as Slackware, strive very hard to keep their kernels (and other software) vanilla-flavored.
 
Old 04-30-2008, 09:53 PM   #13
newtovanilla
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Question vanilla or not vanilla?

"From the perspective of the original kernel, your modified kernel will not be vanilla. However, from your standpoint, should you decide to build a few distros using the modified kernel as a base, then yes, your kernel will be vanilla for YOUR distros."

Here the modified kernel is a vanilla kernel according to the next comment and the above comment is wrong. OR is it right? Then what is a vanilla kernel? This is all new to me.

Win32sux makes it clear that it is a VANILLA kernel.

Last edited by newtovanilla; 04-30-2008 at 09:55 PM. Reason: add Win32
 
Old 04-30-2008, 10:32 PM   #14
win32sux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newtovanilla View Post
"From the perspective of the original kernel, your modified kernel will not be vanilla. However, from your standpoint, should you decide to build a few distros using the modified kernel as a base, then yes, your kernel will be vanilla for YOUR distros."

Here the modified kernel is a vanilla kernel according to the next comment and the above comment is wrong. OR is it right? Then what is a vanilla kernel? This is all new to me.
Honestly I'm not sure what he meant. But you've already got some pretty clear explanations from several others in this thread, and you should be able to get it by now.

Last edited by win32sux; 04-30-2008 at 10:33 PM.
 
Old 04-30-2008, 11:01 PM   #15
billymayday
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I have to say, I'm pretty dissapointed no-one liked my "sauce" comment here (just to close off the thread)
 
  


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