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Re: Best practices for kernel patches?

On Thu, Dec 06, 2001 at 02:49:40PM +0100, Andreas Metzler wrote:

> Matt Zimmerman <mdz@debian.org> wrote:
> > I have started work on packaging a kernel patch, and I've run into an
> > issue that I'm sure that others have dealt with already.
> > Should kernel-patch packages contain diffs against the official kernel,
> > or against the patched Debian sources?
> <Joe-User-Mode> Debians kernel-sources don't differ that much from vanilla
> (see /usr/share/doc/kernel-source-<version>/README.Debian.gz) so usually a
> patch against Debian-kernel should work with vanilla and vice versa.

They are different enough that some patches do not apply cleanly.  While I
appreciate the inclusion of these fixes because they benefit me as a user,
as a package maintainer I think some additional infrastructure may be
necessary to make kernel-patch packages more useful.

> [...]
> > None of these are satisfying to me.  What do other folks do?
> Afaict:
> -IDE-patch: vanilla
> -ext3-fs-patch: debian ("Ext3FS patches were downloaded from
>  http://www.uow.edu.au/~andrewm/linux/ext3/ and modified to apply
>  cleanly in the Debian environment.")
> -badram: vanilla.
> All three patches work with the debian-kernelsource.
> IMVHO: Ship a patch that works with Debian's kernelsource, if it does not
> work with vanilla-kernelsource document it in README.Debian or even better
> in the package description and add a pointer to a eg. a webpage with
> version that works with vanilla-kernel.

For now, I am going to fix up the patch at package build time in order to
apply to the Debian sources, by applying a diff.  diffs of diffs are
hideous, but at least it makes the changes somewhat clear, and allows me to
include the pristine patches in the source package, for easy access.

This particular patch's problem will likely go away with future kernels, as
it applies to 2.4.14 and wants to fix the same loop.c problem that the
Debian kernel-source package fixes.

 - mdz

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