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Alternative Linux Kernels
In addition to certain, well known patchsets such as grsecurity or linux-ck, many distributions have their own kernel and patches that attempt to satisfy requirements for their most common use-cases.
These are kernels that have found their way into well known distros in whole or in part.
grsecurity is an extensive security enhancement to the Linux kernel that defends against a wide range of security threats through intelligent access control, memory corruption-based exploit prevention, and other system hardening that generally requires no additional configuration. It has been actively developed and maintained for the past 13 years. Commercial support for grsecurity is available through Open Source Security, Inc.
Linux-ck is a package available in the AUR and in the linux-ck repo that allows users to run a kernel/headers setup patched with Con Kolivas' ck1 patchset, including the Brain Fuck Scheduler (BFS). Many Archers elect to use this package for the BFS' excellent desktop interactivity and responsiveness under any load situation. Additionally, the bfs imparts performance gains beyond interactivity.
Linux-libre is a alternative kernel that is maintained from modified versions of the Linux kernel. The aim of the project is to remove from the Linux kernel any software that does not include its source code, has its source code obfuscated, or is released under proprietary licenses. While usable for most purposes, it does not include a myriad of firmware nor any binary blobs.