Monday, 21 July 2008

Ubuntu and Gentoo kernels

I've just done an update on both my linux boxes that I use. One is running Ubuntu, and the other is running Gentoo. The main difference I see if that one has a newer kernel than the other. The guys at Gentoo have gotten out the 2.6.25 kernel out before the guys at Ubuntu. This is not saying that Ubuntu guys are off, or they are getting lazy, it's just an observation. So a quick uname on each shows:
  • ric_man@somename:~ $ uname -a
    Linux somename 2.6.24-19-generic #1 SMP Fri Jul 11 23:41:49 UTC 2008 i686 GNU/Linux

  • evilric@lasek ~ $ uname -a
    Linux lasek 2.6.25-gentoo-r6 #1 SMP PREEMPT Mon Jul 21 21:58:15 EST 2008 i686 Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux
As you can see from the compile time of the Gentoo kernel, it was only done a few moments ago, whereas the binary kernel from Ubuntu is a week and a half ago. Both distributions upgraded seamlessly, but one thing to note is Ubuntu was totally upgraded in about 2 hours (and this includes download time). The Gentoo distribution upgraded overnight. This was mainly due to an upgrade from Python 2.4 to 2.5, which with Gentoo meant the recompilation of many packages which were previously compiled against the lesser version of Python.

Both distributions do have their strengths and weaknesses. My personal choice of system would still be a Gentoo system, but I think this in part to the amount of time I have invested in learning how to use it and configure it. My choice to introduce people to GNU/Linux, or even for people that want to get work done, is to use Ubuntu. Fortunately for us all, like IBM says, the future is open!

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