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IMPORTANT: debian-sources-lts becoming default kernel

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  • Funtoo Linux BDFL

Hey all,

We are about to switch Release 1.2 to use debian-sources-lts as the default kernel. What this means is that on stage3's, you will soon be greeted with debian-sources-lts pre-built instead of the regular debian-sources. This may be surprising to you because you will notice that on new installs, you won't have a 4.14+ kernel but an earlier one. But there is a good reason for this, as I'll explain.

Many of you know that "debian-sources-lts" is Debian's "long term stable" kernel, and is based on the 4.9 series. I know, I know... some of you might not like this choice, particularly if you are used to running a more recent kernel. I'll remind those who are in this camp that as always, Funtoo supports running whatever kernel you like -- we're simply changing our default.

From our perspective, the benefits of this change are numerous. First, Debian's "LTS" kernel is considered to be production-ready for servers and is kept up-to-date with the latest Spectre and Meltdown mitigations. This by itself is a good reason for us to switch. Other nice things are that because it is a 'stable' kernel, we can expect good driver compatibility with things like nivida-drivers, so it should reduce breakage experienced by third-party modules.

It's also the kernel we use ourselves for production servers, so we simply pay more attention to it overall than the regular debian-sources. It's always best if the kernel we ship to you is the one we use ourselves, as it gets the most testing and validation.

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