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    SubjectRe: Development Setups
    Hi Adam.

    > As a budding kernel hacker looking to cut my teeth, I've become
    > curious about what types of setups people hack the kernel with.
    > I am very interested in descriptions of the computers you hack
    > the kernel with and their use patterns.

    Here's the collection I use...

    1. 386sx/16 with 8M of RAM running RedHat 6.0 as none of the later
    RedHat's will install on it - they all need >8M of RAM to install.
    This serves as my network print server.

    2. 386sx/25 with 387sx/25 with 8M of RAM running RedHat 6.1 as none
    of the later RedHat's will install on it, as stated above. It is
    noticable that the presence of a 387 maths copro allowed 6.1 to
    install where it wouldn't otherwise.

    3. 486sx/25 with 12M of RAM running RedHat 6.2 as none of the
    RedHat 7.x's will install, all needing >12M of RAM to install.

    4. 486dx2/66 with 16M of RAM running RedHat 6.2 and serving as my
    network dial-up server. It's stable as it currently stands, so
    is unlikely to be upgraded anytime soon.

    5. 486dx4/120 with 32M of RAM running RedHat 6.2 as RedHat 7.x runs
    out of hard disk space - it only has a 350M hard drive in it at
    the moment.

    6. P75 with 32M of RAM running Win95 so I can check that the Linux
    systems I set up for customers will correctly interact with any
    Win9x systems they may have, and also used to run the software
    I need to run that's only available for Win9x.

    7. P166 with 96M of RAM awaiting a new hard drive (the existing one
    self-destructed a week or so ago). Once the new hard drive is
    obtained, I'll be installing RedHat 7.1 on it.

    Depending on what else I'm doing at the time, I can use any of the above
    to "hack" the kernel, including the Win95 machine if everything else is
    busy. I generally use (3) to compile the results on.

    > I was thinking of starting with a modern machine for developing and
    > compiling on, and then older machine(s) for testing. This way I
    > would not risk losing data if I oops or somesuch.

    > Alternately, is there a common practice of using lilo to create
    > development and testing kernel command lines?

    I have a lilo entry that reads as follows:


    I also have a script set up for only root to run that reads...

    lilo && lilo -D develop && reboot

    ...which I run to try the kernel out.

    > Is this a useful thing to do or is it too much of brain drain to
    > switch between hacking and testing mindsets?

    That depends on how you set your system up.

    > Instead of having separate machines, there is the possibility of
    > using the Usermode port. As I understand it this lags behind the -ac
    > and linus kernels so it would be hard to test things like the new
    > VM's. Usermode would not be suitable for driver development either.
    > Again, thoughts on this mode of development?

    I've never tried it, and have no plans to do so.

    > Which brings me to the final question. Is there any reason to
    > choose architecture A over architecture B for any reason besides
    > arch-specific development in the kernel or for device drivers?

    Not that I'm aware of.

    Best wishes from Riley.

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