[Techtalk] which kernel to use question

Tracey C grrliegeek at elenari.net
Thu Mar 8 13:56:40 UTC 2007

On 3/8/07, Maria McKinley <maria at shadlen.org> wrote:
> Here is something I have never been able to figure out. I suspect either
> one is ok, but not sure. I am currently using an AMD Athlon XP3000
> processor. Should I be using kernel-image-2.6.8-2-k7 or
> kernel-image-2.6.8-2-386 or does it matter?

I had the same question, and had found the answer in the package
descriptions. You can read those if you go to your graphical package
manager. If I knew your distro I could name it. Search for "kernel"
and then click on each kernel. From the command line, you could use
the rpm or apt command line tools to view the package descriptions. If
you need to get specific help on that, just post your distro.

Googling around I found a description of the k7 package for Debian.
It is meant for 32bit AMD Duron/Athlon/AthlonXP machines. The i386
kernel is a generic x86 kernel that will work on any x86 processors.
It doesn't have optimizations for the CPU. The 586 and 686 are for
Intel. Since you have an Athlon processor, using the k7 kernel will
include optimizations for your CPU which theoretically make things run
more efficiently. I believe this is mostly seen when you're compiling
things, but I'm sure there are other advantages. Hopefully someone
with more knowledge about kernels will add something :)

Tracey C

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