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Old 01-22-2019, 08:56 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2000
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What's your favorite Linux kernel release?

Based on an article I wrote a while back for, I'd like to know: What's your favorite Linux kernel release?

My 3 favorite Linux releases

For the 25th anniversary of the Linux kernel, I gave a 25 years of Linux in 5 minutes lightning talk at All Things Open in Raleigh. As we approach the kernel's 27th anniversary, I'd like to take a stroll down memory lane and look back at the three releases that have been most significant to me.

Linux 2.4.x

Initially released in January of 2001, the 2.4.x series was significant in the kernel's history and contained many major milestones. USB and Bluetooth support were added, ext3 was released, LVM was introduced, ISA Plug-and-Play support was included, and much, much more.

Although 2.4.x was a successful and long-lived series released during a critical time for Linux adoption, it's significant to me for an entirely different reason. Starting with 2.4.19, I maintained an -lq patchset that became surprisingly popular. In fact, despite my assurances that it would probably result in your machine starting on fire, I found out a couple large companies were using it in production. The patchset began with my desire to have rmap and the O(1) scheduler in the same kernel. It grew based on feature requests from there. I ended up winding down the project after those two features were rolled into mainline, but it was a great learning experience and a rewarding project that I look back on fondly.

Linux 0.99.5

This was the Linux kernel version installed with the first version of Linux that I managed to use on a daily basis. The distribution was Yggdrasil, included with Linux Bible. Linux was a bit more raw back then, and it took me a few tries to convert my main machine. For those who haven't had to hand craft a XF86Config or manually "swapon", these were much different times.

Since that install, I haven't looked back; I've used Linux on my desktop ever since. I've installed many distributions since Yggdrasil, which have included many kernels more recent than 0.99.5, but as they say, you always remember your firsts.

Linux 2.2.x

The 2.2.x release removed the global spinlock, but it was also the current version when I launched and when I got my first full-time Linux job. These were two significant personal milestones, which make this series memorable for me. This release also stands out to me as it's the first mainline version to be passed to a maintainer, which was Alan Cox.

Old 01-22-2019, 09:27 PM   #2
Timothy Miller
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4.19, it works with Ryzen and is LTS.

I don't remember what kernel I started with. Would have been 1996/1997 timeframe. But didn't get my winmodem to work for a couple years so never got online with those early attempts.

By the time I got online it was 2.2 series (possibly even early 2.4 series?)...don't remember anything particularly special about any of them until recently when Ryzen started working well (I'm kinda a fan of Ryzen after YEARS of no compeition).

Last edited by Timothy Miller; 01-22-2019 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:12 PM   #3
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The ones that don't cause chaos. The ones that don't break my old hardware. Not everyone's a million heir.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:47 PM   #4
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Smile Favorite Linux Kernals

My favorite linux kernals are always the next one. I run arch so kernel updates come up very quickly after release by the kernel team.

I've been running arch since March, 2013 and have only had to back out of one kernel update. The problem was fixed the following day.

I run a quick clonzilla update on my root and boot partitions, and then do the pacman update. This saved my can when the updated kernel crashed. I restored and then re-installed the following day with the upgraded code.
Old 01-22-2019, 11:49 PM   #5
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Linux 2.6 Breath taking.. :-)

Last edited by GlennsPref; 01-22-2019 at 11:50 PM. Reason: the change from 2.4.x to 2.6
Old 01-22-2019, 11:53 PM   #6
Registered: Jun 2009
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Cool Favourite Kernel

My favourite kernel is the version that works with my OS of choice. Nothing more, nothing less. Kudos to all developers, however, for their hard work.
Old 01-23-2019, 01:36 AM   #7
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G'day all, I don't know what kernel I am using. I am using Ubuntu 16.04.5 that is about as much as I understand.
I tried the 18.04, but it didn't suit my needs, I am only now trying to understand the Debian configuration, 18.04 uses a different type of thing so I was totally lost.
Thank you for your efforts to keep improving things but I will stick with what little I know.

Kind regards,
Rodney Jackson
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:41 AM   #8
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1-2.6.39 best of a long line
2-4.20.x best of a shorter line
3-3.19.x best of a still shorter line

Two or more dots in a versioning scheme are silly, worsted only by underscores, and arbitrary major version increases. Thank goodness the worst there is is also the best there is, and FOSS.
Old 01-23-2019, 01:42 AM   #9
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Location: Earth? I would say I hope so but I'm not so sure about that... I could just be a figment of your imagination too.
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Originally Posted by jacko777 View Post
G'day all, I don't know what kernel I am using.
You can type the following at a terminal window:

uname -a
It's the numbers after the word "Linux" and your machines "hostname". So for example "Linux <hostname here> 4.x", the "hostname" and "4.x" parts may well be, and probably will be different on your machine.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:52 AM   #10
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Well. Memories, memories.... I sat in front of the Unix console for the first time (not yet Linux) in 1983, during my studies. The year in which the first version of Windows was created and for me a special year, because my daughter was born. It was a strange time. In my country (Poland) martial law was at that time. Zero contacts with the abroad world. And we worked on Polish counterfeit of PDP11. Unix ver 6 or 7 - I do not remember exactly. In 1987, I started to work professionally and I think I will use XENIX in 1988. The first UNIX available on the PC platform. And I started using Linux in 2001 (but only as a hobby), when the Internet started to work fairly well in my country (as for those years). Version 2.4 from what I remember.
I do not have a favorite version. I have to deal with various Linux systems and different kernels. Mainly those built into the device, including TVs. Privately (and at work) I use Mageia with the latest version of the kernel, which is available at the moment for this distribution.
Well. Memories, memories ... And today, Linux is even in my washing machine. And who would have thought it would be like this in 1983?

Last edited by mackowiakp; 01-23-2019 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:19 AM   #11
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Perfect kernel was 4.17, had drivers for all my hardware.
Old 01-23-2019, 02:26 AM   #12
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I don't have a favorite kerne because I could not yet recognize differences.
I am Linux Mint user since a few year. I am very happy with the performance of the versions I get from Linux Mint just as they are.

For me the kernel is just a part which must function very well but I don't understand enough to understand and test the differences.

I don' t know if the following gives you some insight in kernel topics. In 2012(?) I started experimenting with LM Debian Mate on a Thinkpad x41 and was surprised how nice Linux works. I have to switch between Japanese and latin character writing back and forth. That time in needed to modify some scripts to get IBUS-ANTHY running. Thereafter LM 17 KDE I only neede d a few clicks on the GUIs and all was running. Happy. I am simply happy with LM 17.3 KDE

(Only now I am not happy, LM 19 has no KDE DE anymore and in LM 18.3 KDE I cannot get Japanese writing up and running; frustrating.)

Let me use this chance to say thank you to all the people who do kernel and general Linux development work!
Old 01-23-2019, 02:37 AM   #13
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I hardly keep track of kernels to be honest. I know that kernel releases in the past few years have made hibernate (among my favorite features) difficult to implement on some distros like Ubuntu and Linux Mint. This is why I stick with Fedora 29 which is the only current distro that work near flawlessly in all my computers.
Old 01-23-2019, 02:41 AM   #14
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Iíve been using Linux for about 4 years. I started with Mint 16.04, then tried Ubuntu 18.04 but iím A GUI user and I found it didnít have the GUI utils I wanted so then I tried Mate 18.04. Iím not experienced enough to notice the kernel difference between 16.04 and 18.04. What I do notice is how rubbish Windows 10 is now, Iím looking forward to never having to use it ever again. I just need to find a mass jpeg compression utility (have to use photoshop to do this) and a jpeg file renaming utility that uses the photos meta data, I have a Windows utility to do that.
Old 01-23-2019, 02:43 AM   #15
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One of the best stable version I used is in SLED -10 Not sure which version , but it was rock solid and I have never seen such a version since then.


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