Very old kernels

rcrsn51 posted in the Wary 0.7 feedback thread in the forum:

I went back through some threads dealing with problematic old hardware and it seems like the best solutions were retro kernels such as and

...posted at

The problem is, Wary cannot go any further back than 2.6.27, for these reasons:

1. Aufs2
As mentioned in a recent post, a reasonably new version of Aufs is needed, and the 2.x series only supports the 2.6.27 kernel and later (in fact, as from last Monday, support for 2.6.27 is dropped also).

2. Squashfs 4.0
I want all the kernels in Wary to support Squashfs 4.0, and the earliest backport patch that I have is for 2.6.27.

3. ext4
The earliest kernel that will support ext4 is 2.6.27 (and even this has possible limitations).

4. Linux-headers
Glibc is compiled against the header files of the source of a particular kernel version. Wary uses the headers of 2.6.27. This tells glibc what the capabilities of the kernel are. The problem with using an even older kernel is that you are telling glibc that the kernel is even less capable, and possibly even telling it things that may conflict with later kernels. I am somewhat guessing here, but think it unwise to use headers that are a long way behind the latest kernel that is expected to be used with the distro.

Posted on 8 Sep 2010, 23:12


Posted on 8 Sep 2010, 24:16 by perthie
Thanks for the Clarification
It sounds like the owners of very old hardware may still need to look at the retro-Puppies instead of Wary.

Posted on 9 Sep 2010, 9:10 by GCMartin
Very old kernels
I'm sure you've already thought about it.

Maybe its time to stabilize the old RETRO and make a new RETRO.

New RETRO will support the current SCSI, SATA III, USB3, SAS, iSCSI, 64bit Xeons and AMDs.

Best of bother worlds: Old Retro and New Retro.

Should reduce all hair pulling.

Posted on 9 Sep 2010, 20:29 by Iguleder
Not a perfect world
We don't live in a perfect world, software rushes forward and old hardware remains what it is. Sometimes compatiblity breaks and there's nothing we can do about it. If 2.6.27.x is the minimum kernel that can be used with Wary, let it be.

Besides, 2.6.27.x is a great retro kernel, it's quite close to, the kernel used in 4.x.

Those with hardware that is too "new" to support 2.6.27.x have 2.14x, Legacy (teenpup) or 4.x puppies, so that's not a problem.