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

Don Armstrong <don@debian.org> wrote:


> For out of tree modules, these problems can either be resolved by
> changing the ABI number, or possibly by using Breaks: for all of the
> affected out-of-tree modules where the change wasn't wide-spread
> enough to bump the ABI number. A slightly wilder alternative, is to
> Provides: linux-kernel-abi-2.6.32-vmware-5 or something for
> out-of-tree modules which aren't going to be covered by the main ABI,
> but are important enough to require compatibility. Alternatively, we

This doesn't work for modules packaged/installed with DKMS, which is
slowly replacing module-assistant (and is not Debian-specific, this is
important to keep in mind here).

Unless DKMS in Debian switches to building modules at boot time, which
it currently doesn't do - and that would not solve the issue for modules
needed in the initrd. Not to mention that it would lengthen the boot
time and could break the boot for any number of reasons [1].

As you noted, silently breaking the ABI opens up a window during which
modules on-disk are potentially incompatible with the running
kernel. Not ideal and not easy to diagnose if you don't have some kernel


[1] Like running into an endless loop while attempting to build a
module, as happened to me with blcr, which would be pretty inconvenient
at boot time.

 Julien BLACHE <jblache@debian.org>  |  Debian, because code matters more 
 Debian & GNU/Linux Developer        |       <http://www.debian.org>
 Public key available on <http://www.jblache.org> - KeyID: F5D6 5169 
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