Last Friday saw the release of the Linux Kernel version 2.6.24. This new version does not include anything spectacular (Linus’ words, not mine), but does include some updates to network drivers. These improvements will assuredly make some users experiencing network issues happy. You can go to http://www.kernel.org to download and build your new kernel.
But should you? Is there ever a reason to build your own kernel and not just wait for it to come down the pipe from your distribution’s software repositories? For the most part, no, you should not need to build your own kernel for enterprise Linux installations these days. Most kernels that come with stock Linux installations such as Red Hat, SUSE and Ubuntu are fine.
However, some occasions require building a new kernel, for example:
- Licensing changes, which forces one to redact certain bits from the stock kernel (see my previous SVV blog post on 2.6.23 and VMware)
- Support for a new CPU ID that is not yet present in the Kernel
- Performance improvement for servers tasked with performing intense calculations
Got any other good reasons for building a kernel? Send them to us.