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Re: Building kernel modules for stock kernels is a hell of a job!

On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 19:50:18 -0500
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> wrote:

> On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 20:16:21 +0200, horrorvacui  <horrorvacui@gmx.net>
> said: 
> > This is my view: the kernel headers and the configuration used when
> > compiling a stock kernel are to be viewed as an *integral part of
> > that kernel*. The headers should be installed by default, 
> 	Heh. You are describing how things used to be, with the
>  kernel-headers always installed by kerel-image, and the symlink kept
>  in place. Looking at the CVS, you could have any number of headers or
>  sources in place, and the /usr/src/linux symlink was kept pointing to
>  the latest version, as determined by the most recent kernel-image
>  isntalled. 

Yes. The symlink is more or less unnecessary topping, but this is how it
should be.

> 	Of course, it all used to fall apart for user who had multiple
>  kernels installed, and woh used to swithc in between, people who had
>  limited amount of space in /usr, and people who wanted to compile for
>  a different machine than the current one. 

Of course, but aren't those people (except for those with limited space)
usually the ones that can cope with that? If you're knowledgeable enough
to use multiple kernels, it can be assumed that you can be burdened with
the responsibility of having /usr/src/linux pointed at the right
direction, depending on the currently running kernel. I'm no newbie, mind
you - I've been compiling my kernels, installing modules and making it all
work together for years, yet getting the headers/source was too cryptic
for me. Remember that most unexperienced users won't even know that they
need a kernel in the source form, or the headers, nor will they understand

I'll maintain that it would be a great help for users if every kernel came
with headers packaged. The nice install-routine-dialogs-thingy (was that
debconf? dselect? dpkg-whatever?) can ask "Do you want to skip installing
kernel headers" and have "No" selected as default. Or perhaps one could
make the headers a dependancy of the kernel, so the kernel packages are
small and those who know how may override this.

> 	The current behaviour was introduced to allow for increased
>  flexibility. 

I don't see how the flexibility might benefit from this (except for
reducing the size of kernel packages). After all, if the situation still
were as you described above, deleting a directory and a symlink would be
all you needed to do to make it as it is currently. The other way around
it's much more difficult, and if it's only about finding out what you need
to do.

Sorry about my insisting on this, but I see myelf in a way as the
advocatus newbii (pun intended). It's a thing that might turn off many new
users off Free Software.

Horror Vacui

Registered Linux user #257714

Go get yourself... counted: http://counter.li.org/
- and keep following the GNU.

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