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Re: ELF migration questions.

Raul Miller:
   > Should elf base packages run a check to see if the currently
   > running kernel has elf support compiled in as a non-module
   > option?

Ian Jackson:
   Yes, definitely.

   There should be a standard way of doing this check ...


It's easy to check if elf is supported by a module (grep elf
/proc/modules), it's also easy to check if elf is supported by the
kernel (run an elf format executable).  It's not quite so easy to test
if the current kernel supports elf from a script, but it shouldn't be
hard to make a debian package that consists solely of a trivial binary
which is compiled for elf.

Ideally, we'd like to have an elf-kernel package, but there's a lot of
issues in configuring a kernel once it's been installed -- and
unfortunately configuation of boot loaders can probably never be fully
automated for all systems.

So, my preference would be a kernel-boots-elf package.  If I were
really conservative, I'd have it run its test program in its
postinst.  Base elf packages (which would depend on it) would run the
test in preinst.

If I was paranoid and ambitious, I'd code into the test program some
way of testing for the elf module when /proc isn't mounted.  Since I'm
not all that ambitious I'd probably merely check that /proc is

Perhaps there are other considerations, but the nice thing about
packages is they can be upgraded when new considerations are


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