Tom Dyas (
Sun, 7 Jul 96 20:13:23 EDT

Linux-Kernel META-FAQ

Updated: July 7, 1996
Maintainer: Tom Dyas <>

This document provides information about the linux-kernel mailing list
that members of the list (espcially newcomers) may find extremely
helpful. The META-FAQ will be posted weekly to the list. Please send
any updates or corrections to the maintainer at the address listed

All references to outside information are given in the form of
URLs. The latest version of this document can always be found at

1. "How do I unsubscribe from"

Send email to from the account that
receives linux-kernel mail. The subject line does not matter. The body
of the message should contain the following line and nothing else:

unsubscribe linux-kernel

It may take vger a few days to process your unsubscribe request. Vger
is a Sun 4/280 that never has a load average below 4. In other words,
it is one very stressed out little machine.

2. "I tried unsubscribing just like you said above, but it didn't

If the outgoing address that appears in your mail to does not match the address that vger sends
linux-kernel mail to, then the unsubscribe will fail. Send another
message to with the following line as the
body of the message:

unsubscribe linux-kernel email_address

Replace "email_address" with the exact address that vger sends mail
to. The "email_address" should ONLY be an email address without any
other information like your full name since majordomo may choke on the
address otherwise.

This type of unsubscribe request requires intervention from the list
maintainer. It may take a while especially since the list maintainer
gets flooded with 500 messages a day in bounces and other things. (And
yes, the list maintainer does run procmail.)

3. "Where do I find patches and source code archives for the kernel?"

The following list only includes major sites that mirror the primary
site directly. Many other sites mirror the mirror sites. Please leave
the main site alone and always use a mirror to save network bandwidth.

(symlink for

Mirrors (North America):

Mirrors (Europe):

4. "How do update my existing kernel source tree to the latest version
by using patches?"

Read the file README in the root of the kernel source tree. The shell
script scripts/patch-kernel in the kernel source tree provides some
automation to the patching process.

5. "What is the latest stable version of the kernel?"

The latest stable version of the kernel is 2.0.3. It can be found as
v2.0/linux-2.0.3.tar.gz at any of the URLs listed in question #3.

6. "What is the latest development version of the kernel?"

Currently, no development version exists. Linus will not be starting
another development series of the kernel for at least a month. He has
encouraged everyone including developers to try out 2.0.x so that any
bugs can be found and squashed.

7. "I upgraded my kernel and after I rebooted, some things were
broken! What will I ever do?"

Congratulations! You have become a Kernel Victim (TM). :) Seriously,
many userland utilities have been broken by changes in the kernel. You
will need to upgrade to the most recent version of the affected

Read Documentation/Changes in the kernel source tree for an overview
of some problems that you may encounter and a list of the latest
userland packages that you will need. The following sites also provide
useful information (please send site URLs):

- Software Victims of the 1.3 Kernel Development


8. "I hate all this mail! Is available
anywhere else other than as a mailing list?"

Yes. You can read linux-kernel as the newsgroup
Posts to the newsgroup will be seen by people on the mailing list and
vice versa.

Here are few sites that provide online message digests. More URLs are


9. "Does support message digests?"

Message digests are not currently working on vger and probably won't
be for the forseeable future. It takes too much processing time to
create the digests. This is CPU time that vger cannot spare. Please
use the resources listed in question #8 in the place of mailed message
digests from vger.

10. "Are there any specific guidelines or policy regarding topics that
can be discussed?"

NOTE: The mailing list is **NOT**
moderated. You are on your honor to follow the guidelines.

The only guideline is that a message should concern a topic that is
remotely concerned with some aspect of the Linux kernel and/or its
development. You may find that some of the other vger lists provide
more focused coverage of particular topics and less traffic overall.

Also, if a person asks a question about a problem that was answered
weeks ago, please do not send a response to the list in order to save
bandwidth. One perfect example that comes to mind was when the procps
utilities broke during the 1.3.x series.

This should not have to be said, but it must. Flames and other
insulting messages make people extremely unhappy. Differences of
opinion are fine and lead to interesting threads. However, threads
should not turn into shouting matches. Please always be polite in any
message you send. Please remember that not everyone on linux-kernel is
at the same level of technical expertise or experience.

The list maintainer is **NOT** a moderator and does not really care
what is discussed on the list. However, if the list maintainer sees a
flame war and if he is already in a bad mood, he might ask the
instigators to tone down their messages. The list maintainer is the
sole authority regarding what messages constitute a "flame". If you do
happen to receive a "tone it down" message, please follow the
directions in the message.

In the extreme cases that may arise from time to time, whatever action
that will be taken is left entirely to the discretion of the list

11. "I would like to complain about and the linux
lists in general. Is anybody going to listen to me?"

The linux lists at are a free service to the Linux
and Internet communities. You use them at your own risk. All of the
list maintainers are volunteers with very little spare time. If you
are polite, we will try to help you as best as we can given our finite
amount of time. If not, then everything will go down /dev/null.

If you **REALLY** need to talk to the people running the Linux lists
at, then send mail to:

However, please only send mail to this alias as a last resort when all
other methods have failed.