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Meet the new calculate-sources

Since calculate-sources v3.7.10 / 3.8, your kernel will be built on a quite new basis.

All kernel settings were moved to templates

How it works

Our new approach somewhat reminds me of eclasses that change the way an ebuild behaves without actually changing its version. It doesn’t help release binary updates, but makes routines simplier. Besides:

# Kernel updates will be released soon after the vanilla release has been announced, as we won’t need extra time to patch ebuilds.
# One would be able to tell by the package mask how well it is supported: hard masking would mean that the package does not support aufs yet: therefore you will be unable to build a LiveCD with it; arch masking would mean that you can compile the kernel if you want to, but it’s still masked, some patches are missing, no testing has been done; if this is the latest version, the stable status would mean that the corresponding binary exists.
# There’ll be more patches, as we’ll be able to add as many functions as the community wishes. Moreover, you could do it yourself now !
# Kernel settings will be, from now on, stored within templates (see /var/lib/layman/calculate/profiles/templates/3.1/6_ac_install_patch/sys-kernel/calculate-sources/3.8/config-desktop-i686), so that you could always make your own kernel configuration templates or patch templates (such as in /var/lib/layman/calculate/profiles/templates/3.1/6_ac_install_patch/sys-kernel/calculate-sources/3.8/zzz-config-desktop-bfq-tuxonice.patch).

The whys

How were we preparing kernel releases in the Calculate team, until now ? We had to wait for the aufs patch, then we checked for support of ati and nvidia (tricky as they often are), we configured the kernel and finally compiled it. The problem is, we seldom had the time we needed to test it properly, and many users switched to better fixed kernels, such as pf-sources.

When you unmerge the calculate-sources package, the kernel is totally removed too

We’ve discussed auto removing of old kernels more than once; this feature has finally been implemented! The relevant templates are now called when removing a package, an event was specifically created for that (/var/lib/layman/calculate/profiles/templates/3.1/6_ac_install_unmerge).

Let’s say you installed a new 3.8.x kernel, deleted the older 3.7.x, continued working for some time and then rebooted. Would there be any risks ? Of course there would :smiley:

  • Either you won’t be able to unmount some file systems, because the modules that handled them do not exist any more, or
  • you won’t be able to boot with the new kernel. This might happen if it doesn’t support your hardware, which is unlikely.

Therefore, you should never execute emerge -ac before you have rebooted your computer with the newly installed kernel and made sure it works.

In fact, calculate-sources has never been a somewhat unusual kernel by Gentoo standards, and it will be so even less now: it’s just a package, you can install or remove it with emerge.

What else

We also wrote templates for all CL patches (located at /var/lib/layman/calculate/profiles/templates/3.1/6_ac_install_patch). Once you’ve understood how templates work, you will be able to manage your customized system anytime. And of course, feel free to ask questions on our Templates forum.

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