Mar 122011

The ELRepo Project offers the stable mainline kernel built for RHEL/SL/CentOS 5. It is named kernel-ml. I must emphasize that these kernels are not meant for production use but rather for hardware testing.

There are two versions currently being maintained: the long-term kernel 2.6.35 and the latest stable line (2.6.37 as of this writing). Is the newer version better? Not really so. The first alarming sign came from Dag and the maintainer of kernel-ml, Alan. The Gnome power management did not operate correctly for their laptops with kernel-ml-2.6.36.

Alan recently noted that, the further away the LKA (Linux kernel archive) kernel becomes from the 2.6.18 kernel (which is the basis of EL5), the less likely a stable LKA kernel will be usable. In fact, on certain hardware, kernel-ml 2.6.35 runs fine whereas 2.6.37 does not [1,2].

Quoting Phil, “I see more “value” in the kernel-ml-2.6.35 offering. I agree that sooner or later you are likely to hit a point of diminishing returns, and perhaps you’ve already reached that point with the current kernel-ml-2.6.37.”

So, is this kernel too far ?


  One Response to “A Kernel Too Far”

  1. I can say that I am using the 2.6.35 kernel on my laptop and 2 workstations right now and it seems very stable (after fixing he Hardware clock issue). I noticed that the Gnome Power issue is still there on the newer 2.6.38 kernel as well. I know you don’t recommend this in production, and I would not use it on my servers, but at least the 2.6.35 line seems stable enough for workstation use on the 3 machines I have tried it one.

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