This mail is a follow-up to yesterday's meeting at DebConf: https://penta.debconf.org/penta/schedule/dc13/event/1013.en.html (recordings not yet available, but should be soon) I don't think anyone took notes at the time, but I think there was general consensus that: 1. compat-drivers should be packaged separately from linux, and should build a separate binary package per subsystem (and per flavour). This should remove the risk of regressions for hardware that's already supported. 2. The installer should install whichever of these binary packages are needed (presumably with the aid of discover). 3. Mesa drivers for new chips should be packaged with different names and only bound to the new PCI IDs. Mesa can then automatically load whichever driver is appropriate. 4. The new/updated drivers potentially get updated at every point release. We won't attempt to support multiple new versions of a driver per suite. There is a risk of regression for those using them, but this is no worse than the current situation where users must update the entire kernel or X server from another suite which is updated even more frequently. I don't think X video drivers and libdrm modules were explicitly addressed, but presumably they can be handled similarly to Mesa drivers? Hardware support in the installer itself wasn't addressed within the meeting proper, but after later discussion it was obvious that compat-drivers must build udebs to be included in installer images. Now there is a potential problem with the installer, in that the updated kernel modules would always be 'installed' in the initrd, whereas on the installed system they would only be installed if necessary. So if a backported driver has a regression in support for older hardware, it would not affect the installed sytem but *would* affect the installer. I'm not sure how to get around that. Possibly the new modules should be renamed and have their PCI IDs restricted. But this is not ideal as it will force people to configure module options differently, and it will require new logic in initramfs-tools to find the updated drivers. I'll keep thinking about how to solve this, but would appreciate suggestions from others... Ben. -- Ben Hutchings Experience is what causes a person to make new mistakes instead of old ones.
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