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Bug#607368: Please decide how kernel ABI should be managed

On Sun, 19 Dec 2010, Julien BLACHE wrote:
> I think it would be best if this matter would be decided upon before
> the release of Squeeze, or not too long after it, so as to avoid
> further breakages in early kernel updates for Squeeze.

I have a couple of (possibly naïve) questions that would help me
understand the space of solutions here.

1) What is the kernel ABI currently used to indicate? Where do we
specify what it guarantees?

2) What are all of the options for handling this situation?
Specifically, how should a package maintainer who is maintaining a
out-of-tree module which uses symbols from the kernel handle them
through an upgrade which changes the symbols? If the symbols need to
be covered by the ABI, how can the maintainer get them covered by ABI?
What should they do in cases when they are not covered by the ABI?

My main concern is that there seems to be no way for oot modules like
the vmware modules to sanely keep in step with the kernel ABI. While
this may not be a concern for kernel upstream, it's something that we
would ideally deal with to avoid issues for our users on upgrades.

Don Armstrong

He no longer wished to be dead. At the same time, it cannot be said
that he was glad to be alive. But at least he did not resent it. He
was alive, and the stubbornness of this fact had little by little
begun to fascinate him -- as if he had managed to outlive himself, as
if he were somehow living a posthumous life.
 -- Paul Auster _City of Glass_

http://www.donarmstrong.com              http://rzlab.ucr.edu

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