I have an odd question , where does the kernel end and the distribution begin? I ask because I have a hard time trying to figure out what's influencing what in Linux.
To give you an example...if I had a kernel say 2.6.22 in Mandriva and a kernel 2.6.22 in Fedora, what functionality could I assume to be identical between these two distros?(assuming the same cpu and hardware and kernel setup)...
I guess what I'm trying to say is...do the distros respect the kernel functionality or do they change it as needed?
I hope this makes sense...Gerard4143
Most distributions patch their own kernel because they want to keep the kernel version (for the sake of applications' compatibility during the lifetime of release). But on the other hand they want to close serious bugs, therefore the distribution cherrypicks patches from newer kernels and "backports" them.
New functionality is rarely added by this, but sometimes application actually rely on bugs. Or new bugs are introduced.
if you see the philosophy behing GNU, and GPL, linux kernel is of course maintained by open source without warranty.
if tomorrow somebody uses it nobody is questionable for the bugs (of course not morally :) )
so here comes mostly kernel provider guys.....
1) they mostly have their own methods of testing the kernel to some extent...
2) they provide the support to the customers, in return of money of course.
3) they can change the kernel also but mostly they do not touch the core part such as mm, schedular, etc..... (they will mostly be identical in any distribution)
anyway who wants to change 2nd stage boot loader and kernel initialization part !!!!! tehre is not significant business profit by changing it !!!!
so you see, distribution adds necessary features in the kernel, solve kernel bugs depending on business requirement purely.
I hope this helped.
Thanks for the replies GNU-fan and Matt_kleviar your answers clarify certain assumptions I was lead to believe existed in the kernel...Thanks again Gerard4143