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Dragon Kernel

Dragon is a distro kernel replacement built using the best configuration and kernel sources for desktop, multimedia, and gaming workloads. These kernels are not supported and are not appropriate for production use. You assume all risks associated with the use of this kernel.


By default, Ubuntu systems run with the Ubuntu kernels provided by the Ubuntu repositories. However it is handy to be able to test with modified upstream kernels to help locate problems in the Ubuntu kernel patches, or to confirm that upstream has fixed a specific issue. To this end i now offer select upstream kernel builds. These kernels are made from modified kernel source but using the Ubuntu kernel configuration files. These are then packaged as Ubuntu .deb files for simple installation.

Why Ubuntu? Because Ubuntu has become the de facto standard for workstations. All new software is made for Ubuntu first. This distro has a huge community, who wrote a great number of articles and howto`s on virtually any issue that may arise from the use of this system. Moreover - these articles usually do not require in-depth knowledge of the system. This allows in most cases to solve a specific problem by simply copying commands and not delving into the essence of what is happening.

Ubuntu’s stock Linux kernel is fine for most users, but because Ubuntu follows a six-month release cycle, their kernels are always a release or three behind upstream. This can cause problems for users attempting to install Ubuntu on brand new hardware, or worse, force ultra-nerds to wait to play with the latest and greatest new kernel features!

All workstations that I use today — a Dell Precision M6600 (Sandy Bridge), Dell Inspiron N5010 (Westmere), Hewlett-Packard ProLiant DL380 Gen5 (Xeon X5460), - boots Dragon kernels instead. Dragon’s kernels mirror the upstream development cycle, and as a bonus, include a number of exciting optimizations and patches to improve performance and expose up-and-coming features.

One recent patch pulls in the ability to utilize architecture-specific GCC-11.1+/Clang-13+ optimizations when compiling a kernel. In general, compiler optimizations may not have much effect on runtime performance, however with something as foundational as a kernel, tiny improvements might add up quickly.

The Linux kernel is a very large piece of software. It contains drivers and special handling for all sorts of disparate hardware combinations. By and large, this is a good thing; it allows all sorts of different machines to boot a Linux kernel without undo fiddling. Pre-compiled kernels — like Ubuntu stock or Dragon — keep most of this code around because they cannot anticipate the kind of hardware their users might be using.

Dragon Kernel semantic versioning and give your version numbers meaning:

  • Dragon Kernel no longer uses the stable version of the Linux kernel, all builds are based only on the linux-next version.
major.minor[.maintenance-build]  (Example: 5.13.3-dragon)

major.minor is linux-next kernel version,  maintenance build is Dragon kernel version.

Main Features

  • Experience a whole new way to interact with your PC like never before.
  • Full kernel adaptation to version Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo).
  • Full kernel adaptation to build GCC-11.1+/Clang-13+
  • Build on the latest Clang 13+ (Enabled LTO,POLLY optimizer and LLVM IAS Integrated assembler)
  • Optimized to take full advantage of high-performance.
  • Supports all recent 64-bit versions of Debian and Ubuntu-based systems.
  • Tuned CPU for Intel i5/i7/i9/Atom and AMD platform.
  • Caching, Virtual Memory Manager and CPU Governor Improvements.
  • General-purpose Multitasking Kernel.
  • DRM Optimized Performance.
  • Intel CPUFreq (P-State passive mode).
  • Added APFS, fixed and tune exFAT.
  • Scheduler Kyber, MQ-Deadline, BFQ and Ureadahead support available.
  • Fixed and tune BTRFS file system.
  • Added support for ZSTD-compressed kernel and initramfs.
  • Added new NTFS3 Read-Write driver v26.
  • Added Linux Random Number Generator (LRNG) to collect entropy within the Linux kernel.
  • Added built-in implementation OpenZFS v2.1.99.
  • Added Reiser5 (Software Framework Release: 5.1.3) 20201225.
  • Switch to the ZSTD v1.4.10+ API.
  • Add futex2 syscall.

New features Dragon kernel distribution with custom settings:

  • ACPICA: Version 20210331 and fixes for HP ProLiant servers.
  • DRAGON Interactive Tuning: Tunes the kernel for responsiveness at the cost of throughput and power usage.
  • LRNG: /dev/random - a new approach with full SP800-90B compliance.
  • APFS: Apple File System (APFS) is a proprietary file system for macOS.
  • NTFS3: This is fully functional NTFS Read-Write driver. Current version works with NTFS(including v3.1) normal/compressed/sparse files and supports journal replaying.
  • OPENZFS: Built-in implementation OpenZFS v2.1.99-dragon.
  • REISER5: Reiser5 (Software Framework Release: 5.1.3) 20201225
  • FUTEX2: Futex2 syscall.

Full security support


Download Spectre and Meltdown mitigation detection tool

Enabled protection from speculative execution attack variants:

  • Spectre Variant 1, bounds check bypass
  • Spectre Variant 2, branch target injection
  • Variant 3, Meltdown, rogue data cache load
  • Variant 3a, rogue system register read
  • Variant 4, speculative store bypass
  • Foreshadow (SGX), L1 terminal fault
  • Foreshadow-NG (OS), L1 terminal fault
  • Foreshadow-NG (VMM), L1 terminal fault
  • Fallout, microarchitectural store buffer data sampling (MSBDS)
  • ZombieLoad, microarchitectural fill buffer data sampling (MFBDS)
  • ZombieLoad V2, TSX Asynchronous Abort (TAA)
  • RIDL, microarchitectural load port data sampling (MLPDS)
  • RIDL, microarchitectural data sampling uncacheable memory (MDSUM)
  • No eXcuses, iTLB Multihit, machine check exception on page size changes (MCEPSC)
  • Special Register Buffer Data Sampling (SRBDS)

Must be enabled protection support for mitigation techniques in your CPU microcode:

  • Indirect Branch Restricted Speculation (IBRS)
    • SPEC_CTRL MSR is available
    • CPU indicates IBRS capability
  • Indirect Branch Prediction Barrier (IBPB)
    • PRED_CMD MSR is available
    • CPU indicates IBPB capability
  • Single Thread Indirect Branch Predictors (STIBP)
    • SPEC_CTRL MSR is available
    • CPU indicates STIBP capability
  • Speculative Store Bypass Disable (SSBD)
    • CPU indicates SSBD capability
  • L1 data cache invalidation
    • FLUSH_CMD MSR is available
    • CPU indicates L1D flush capability
  • Microarchitectural Data Sampling
    • VERW instruction is available
  • Enhanced IBRS (IBRS_ALL)
    • CPU indicates ARCH_CAPABILITIES MSR availability
    • ARCH_CAPABILITIES MSR advertises IBRS_ALL capability

View Spectre and Meltdown mitigation detection tool log

System boot-up performance statistics for Dragon kernel:

                          ./+o+-       @wip
                  yyyyy- -yyyyyy+      OS: Ubuntu 21.04 hirsute
               ://+//////-yyyyyyo      Kernel: x86_64 Linux 5.13.3-dragon-sandybridge
           .++ .:/++++++/-.+sss/`      Uptime: 7m
         .:++o:  /++++++++/:--:/-      Packages: 3824
        o:+o+:++.`..```.-/oo+++++/     Shell: bash 5.1.4
       .:+o:+o/.          `+sssoo+/    Resolution: 1920x1080
  .++/+:+oo+o:`             /sssooo.   DE: KDE 5.80.0 / Plasma 5.21.4
 /+++//+:`oo+o               /::--:.   WM: KWin
 \+/+o+++`o++o               ++////.   GTK Theme: Materia-Breeze-gtk [GTK2/3]
  .++.o+++oo+:`             /dddhhh.   Icon Theme: breeze-dark
       .+.o+oo:.          `oddhhhh+    Disk: 316G / 438G (73%)
        \+.++o+o``-````.:ohdhhhhh+     CPU: Intel Core i7-2920XM @ 8x 3.5GHz [56.0°C]
         `:o+++ `ohhhhhhhhyo++os:      GPU: AMD Radeon HD 8950 (BONAIRE, DRM 3.41.0, 5.13.3-dragon-sandybridge, LLVM 13.0.0)
           .o:`.syhhhhhhh/.oo++o`      RAM: 5534MiB / 15793MiB
                   ````` +oo+++o\:
$ systemd-analyze 
Startup finished in 4.551s (kernel) + 4.939s (userspace) = 9.490s reached after 4.931s in userspace
View dmesg output

View Spectre and Meltdown mitigation detection tool log

Pre install Dragon Kernel:

Detailed explanation

First Step:

  • strong recomended update microcode for you cpu


Update Intel microcode for use IBRS/IBPB:


  • strong recomended update firmware for you system

Update Firmware for current Dragon kernel:


Update WiFi Firmware for current Dragon kernel:


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