Most users and developers don’t think too closely about what kernel is running, yet the kernel is a vital piece of software. There are many choices of what kernel to run, from a well-tested enterprise kernel to forward-looking community distributions to running your own compiled version. Each of these options has a use case and the choice of the kernel can have a big impact on your system. So how do you choose? The focus of this talk is the many ways a kernel can be maintained and what it means for consumers of that kernel. Emphasis will be given to the trade-offs of features vs. security vs. ease of management and mistakes you can make when maintaining a kernel.