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Re: Maintaining kernel source in sarge

Martin Schulze wrote:
> Only a few people will probably have noticed the mess resulting from
> tons of different kernel packages in the stable (and unstable)
> distribution.  Not only there are several versions of kernel source in
> each architecture, they are also different for most architectures.
> Only mips and mipsel share the same kernel source.
> To make it worse, there are also third party kernel modules that
> depend on a particular version of the kernel source (they don't depend
> on the particular Debian revision, though, I hope).
> As a result of this, it is almost impossible to update the kernel in a
> released Debian distribution.

Manoj emphasized[1] that using one single kernel source package per
kernel version and maintaining several patch packages for each
architecture which finally build our kernel-image-$version packages is

However, Herbert Xu hasn't contributed to this thread yet and most of
our architecture maintainers haven't raised a word either.  These are
most probably the people who will continue to do the work, and hence,
need our support if the kernel source tree should be consolidated.

I wonder if some people (Maybe Manoj and Russell, who are both quite
competent) could help with this effort.

I have to admit, that having several architectures use the same plain
kernel source from Linus Torvalds aka kernel.org could be problematic
since many architecture ports use their own kernel repository which is
not always synced with the main kernel tree for whatever reasons.

However, I do believe that it should be a goal of Debian to share as
much code as possible and hence share as much of the kernel through
various architectures as well.

> Removing one kernel version and including another without rebuilding
> all modules packages will break several installations.  Not removing
> the old packages will make the archive grow through time which will
> cause problems with CD build scripts.

To make it more interesting, Matt Zimmerman revealed[2] that merging
all kernel source packages would save space of one CD from our archive
and our CD images.

Ola Lundqvist added[3] that building modules packages is a non-trivial
task since the build process often depends on having the full kernel
source installed and already compiled.  He even provided some code
that could help to cope with this.  He also added a proposed kernel
policy.  Please read and comment.

I wonder whether the build scripts of modules packages can be modified
to not require the compiled kernel source anymore.  This would at
least remove this requirement and turn module building into a less
painful task.

 1. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2003/debian-devel-200305/msg01348.html
 2. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2003/debian-devel-200305/msg01368.html
 3. http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2003/debian-devel-200305/msg01390.html

Since sarge is far from being released, now would be a perfect time to
start working on consolidating kernel and source packages in order to
have a new and much better working system ready for sarge when it is
time to release.



WARNING: Do not execute!  This call violates patent DE10108564.

wget -O patinfo-`date +"%Y%m%d"`.html http://patinfo.ffii.org/

Please always Cc to me when replying to me on the lists.

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