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Kernel packaging issues

I noticed that we do not use the kernel packages of the debian project in
our school. Every machine still compiles ones own kernel.

I thought about the reasons for it.  Having the packages would be much
easier to handle I guess:

1. Kernel packages are not up to date and kept bug free. There is a
longstanding bug with NFS not working under the precompiled 2.0.6 kernels
that derailed us. Ever since the assumption is "Debian Kernels do not
work". NFS is essential for a campus net such as ours.

2. Kernel packages do not fit the machine. Notably the Network Servers
need a lot of functionality in the network area: Firewalling, bridging, IP
masquerading and the whole lot. Workstations/LAPTOPs in turn have a lot of
SCSI drivers included which are giving strange messages on bootup.

3. The use of kernel dependent modules (iBCS,ELKS,PCMCIA,electric fence 
etc) is a pain since we have to recompile those souce modules separately
for each version.

Could we do the following:

1. Have one source code module for the kernel. Add to that all the
sourcecode for modules  (iBCS,ELKS,PCMCIA,electic fence etc).

That way all the kernel version dependant stuff can be compiled together
and there is less of a chance of something being out of sync.

updating the kernel binary will lead to the upgrade of all the kernel
dependant modules and we wont have those versions mismatches anymore.

2. Remove the version number from the kernel package (unnecessary since
all kernel dependant modules are included in standard cases). Instead have
different kernels according to their purpose of use generated from one
source module

kernel-workstation	All mouse drivers, IDE only and low-level 
			Network cards compiled it. No advanced networking

kernel-server		Compiled in standard SCSI+IDE. High-level network
			drivers. All advanced networking functions 
                        compiled in.

kernel-limited		Special kernel for low memory 
                        situations/installation. Contains
			minimal amount of drivers compiled in to have a 
                        working kernel. SCSI can be insmoded during 
			install if necessary. The Base package should
			include the full kernel instead of the bootdisks.

And be sure that the kernel package is immediately fixed by having a
number of people able to update the kernel package.

After the 2.0.X is abandoned by the developers (may be at 2.0.22) we
should be open to fixing problem in the kernel sourcecode so that not each
of us ends up with a "stable" kernel and lots of local patches like it
happened with 1.2.13.

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