The Kernel

What the kernel is

The kernel is the basic software of the linux operating system. The kernel controls the access to all hardware and the processing of the application programs. Linux gives you the following possibilities:

  • to choose between different kernel versions and types in the boot menu
  • to provide the kernel with parameters

Mandriva Kernel

The 2006 Mandriva kernel comes from a regular 2.6.12 kernel on which is applied several patches to enhance it for a desktop usage.

Major patches are 3rd party drivers to support more hardware like the eagle-usb driver for the sagem speedtouch modem or some wifi card like the prism driver for the centrino based-cards and cams drivers too.

There are patches for the speedstep architecture from centrino too and the power now architecture of AMD, for the AMD64 platform and for the Xbox.

There are some more drivers for TV cards.

The mandriva kernel includes the bootsplash patch too and some backports from the 2.6.13 like some usb modules.

It includes supermount, to automatically mount external devices and inotify to allow KAT to be warned of files modifications.

It also includes rsbac to improve the security of the global system and Xen, a virtualisation system which allow several os to run in the same time.

There are patch to improve netfilter and the support of ipv6 too.

Those patches are often not included in the kernel because they are too specific, not considered as frozen or backported from the new 2.6.13.

The list of all applied patches can be found here :

Kernel Versions

The currently used version numbers are 2.4 and 2.6. You can install as many different kernel versions into linux as you want. However you must make them available to the boot manager menu because you must choose the kernel version before you start. If you use urpmi to install a kernel, this will be installed under the 'linux' menu entry of the boot manager and also in an entry which has a shortcut name of the installed kernel rpm package.

Kernel Parameters / Boot Prompt

You can provide some paramters to your kernel. notice: are the kernel parameters separated by a space character (blank) Howto manage this:

  • Insert Install CD1, press F1 and type 'linux ' or use 'alt1 ' to install with kernel2.4
  • In the boot manager menu press ESC and type 'linux ' or any other kernel name from the boot menu instead of 'linux'.
  • Edit the configuration file for your boot manager (e.g. /etc/lilo.conf) in the Mandrake Control Center––>Boot.
The following kernel paramters can help to get ahead with your installation:
  • noapic (acpi=no) … deactivate ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface specification)
  • noapic nolapic … deactivate ACPI
  • acpi= … Advanced Configuration and Power Interface
Format: { force | off | ht }
force –– enables ACPI for systems with default off
off –– disabled ACPI for systems with default on
ht –– run only enough ACPI to enable Hyper Threading (––> 10% faster)
  • ide=nodma … deactivate DMA (Direct Memory Access) for harddrives and CDROM/DVD drives
  • fb=no … deactivate Frame Buffer of graphic card
The Linux BootPrompt-HowTo

Here is shortened list of kernel parameters which can be found by executing the command 'find /usr/src/linux -name kernel-parameters.txt' in a command shell window after having installed the 'kernel-source' package.

The following is a consolidated list of the kernel parameters as implemented (mostly) by the __setup() macro and sorted into English Dictionary order (defined as ignoring all punctuation and sorting digits before letters in a case insensitive manner), and with descriptions where known.

The text in square brackets at the beginning of the description state the restrictions on the kernel for the said kernel parameter to be valid. The restrictions referred to are that the relevant option is valid if:

  • ACPI ACPI support is enabled.
  • ALSA ALSA sound support is enabled.
  • APIC APIC support is enabled.
  • APM Advanced Power Management support is enabled.
  • AX25 Appropriate AX.25 support is enabled.
  • CD Appropriate CD support is enabled.
  • DEVFS devfs support is enabled.
  • DRM Direct Rendering Management support is enabled.
  • EFI EFI Partitioning (GPT) is enabled
  • EIDE EIDE/ATAPI support is enabled.
  • FB The frame buffer device is enabled.
  • HW Appropriate hardware is enabled.
  • IA-32 IA-32 aka i386 architecture is enabled.
  • IA-64 IA-64 architecture is enabled.
  • IOSCHED More than one I/O scheduler is enabled.
  • IP_PNP IP DCHP, BOOTP, or RARP is enabled.
  • ISAPNP ISA PnP code is enabled.
  • ISDN Appropriate ISDN support is enabled.
  • JOY Appropriate joystick support is enabled.
  • LP Printer support is enabled.
  • LOOP Loopback device support is enabled.
  • M68k M68k architecture is enabled.
These options have more detailed description inside of Documentation/m68k/kernel-options.txt.
  • MCA MCA bus support is enabled.
  • MDA MDA console support is enabled.
  • MOUSE Appropriate mouse support is enabled.
  • MTD MTD support is enabled.
  • NET Appropriate network support is enabled.
  • NFS Appropriate NFS support is enabled.
  • OSS OSS sound support is enabled.
  • PARIDE The ParIDE subsystem is enabled.
  • PCI PCI bus support is enabled.
  • PCMCIA The PCMCIA subsystem is enabled.
  • PNP Plug & Play support is enabled.
  • PPC PowerPC architecture is enabled.
  • PPT Parallel port support is enabled.
  • PS2 Appropriate PS/2 support is enabled.
  • RAM RAM disk support is enabled.
  • S390 S390 architecture is enabled.
  • SCSI Appropriate SCSI support is enabled.
A lot of drivers has their options described inside of Documentation/scsi/.
  • SERIAL Serial support is enabled.
  • SMP The kernel is an SMP kernel.
  • SPARC Sparc architecture is enabled.
  • SWSUSP Software suspension is enabled.
  • TS Appropriate touchscreen support is enabled.
  • USB USB support is enabled.
  • V4L Video For Linux support is enabled.
  • VGA The VGA console has been enabled.
  • VT Virtual terminal support is enabled.
  • WDT Watchdog support is enabled.
  • XT IBM PC/XT MFM hard disk support is enabled.
In addition, the following text indicates that the option:
  • BUGS= Relates to possible processor bugs on the said processor.
  • KNL Is a kernel start-up parameter.
  • BOOT Is a boot loader parameter.
Parameters denoted with BOOT are actually interpreted by the boot loader, and have no meaning to the kernel directly.

Legal: This page is covered by the GNU Free Documentation License. Standard disclaimers of warranty apply. Copyright LSTB and Mandriva.

Changes history  
21/5/2006 Arkub pasted contents entered by Diwann about the Mandriva kernel
KB - PhpWiki > The Kernel
Version 1.41 last modified by grib on 27/02/2007 at 21:59

Comments (2)

unruh | 26.03.2006 at 09:18 AM
ACPI and APIC are not the same thing. noapic is NOT the same as acpi=off.

They are separate kernel arguments and do very different things.

Steve_Linthicum_45 | 11.08.2006 at 05:16 PM
The link for patches that have been applied is broken, thanks.


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Creator: WebHome on 2004/11/17 14:09
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