What is genpatches?
A brief description of the package, and details about our patching and release policy.
genpatches is a patchset applied to many of Gentoo's Linux kernel packages. It aims to support the entire range of Gentoo-supported architectures.
Each patchset is based on the initial stable release of the kernel's released at kernel.org (e.g. 2.6.10, 2.6.11, 2.6.12).
The patchset is split up into two parts: base and extras. base contains bug and security fixes, while extras includes some extra hardware support and some feature patches.
genpatches is mainly produced for gentoo-sources, which is the only kernel to include both base and extras.
genpatches is maintained in Gentoo Git. This is browseable online and the trunk contents are regularly mirrored here.
genpatches releases are announced on the gentoo-kernel mailing list. To subscribe, send a mail to email@example.com. The list is very low traffic, almost all mails are genpatches release announcements. You can also view the list archives.
genpatches is not specific to Gentoo at all, it can be viewed as a general purpose Linux patchset focusing on stability. Some other non-Gentoo projects use genpatches too, and that's great. If you want to use genpatches in your distro/project, please feel free, and do let me know.
More information can be found in the FAQ.
We aim to keep genpatches as a minimal patchset for two reasons:
- Ease of maintenance and debugging
- Minimal deviation from upstream releases
- Bug fixes
- Security fixes
- Arch-specific compatibility
- Features required or beneficial for Gentoo LiveCDs
In general, we try to stick to only applying patches from the upstream Linux development branch. We're not opposed to fancy new features, we just feel that they belong only in the official kernel.org releases so that every Linux distribution can benefit.
For now we are just working on each new kernel release, adding upstream patches to solve any problems that have appeared, while keeping up-to-date with the kernel.org stable releases.
We also aim to increase the number of Gentoo-provided kernels which include genpatches-base. This greatly reduces the maintenance of those other kernels since all security patch handling is done in one place only.