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Re: RFC: kernel packages cleanup

On Mon, Mar 22, 2004 at 07:33:59PM +0100, Martin Schulze wrote:
> Adrian Bunk wrote:
> > below is a proposal for some cleanup of the kernel packages in unstable:
> > 
> > 
> > 1. remove kernel 2.2 sources/images/patches
> > 
> > The last stable releases of Debian always supported two major kernel
> > releases, and supporting 2.4 and 2.6 seems to be sufficient for
> > Debian 3.1.
> It is insane to believe the security team has any chance to support
> Linux 2.2, Linux 2.4 and Linux 2.6 once sarge is released.

That's definitely a reason why Debian 3.1 shouldn't ship kernel 2.2 
sources and images (whether kernel 2.2 will still be supported is a 
different question).

> > Is there any architecture that _really_ requires kernel 2.2 today?
> The following architectures have 2.2.x in woody:
> alpha    --> superseded by 2.4
> arm      --> superseded by 2.4
> i386     --> superseded by 2.4
> m68k     --> I heard there may be problems with 2.4 *sigh*
> powerpc  --> superseded by 2.4
> apus     --> superseded by 2.4
> sparc    --> superseded by 2.4
> m68k has some 2.4 kernels so I hope that 2.2 isn't required anymore.
> Also it is quite likely that 2.2.x doesn't compile with tools in
> sarge anymore.  We've faced this with the powerpc/apus update.

Judging from the answers I got until now, architectures still requiring 
kernel 2.2 today are:
- several m68k subarchitectures
- sparc32

A solution needs to be found for them.

> > 3. reduce the number of 2.4 kernel versions
> Yes please.  The situation is totally insane at the moment already.
> We have to support 4+4 kernel versions in woody.  I don't want to
> know how many there are in sarge already.  8 is WAY TOO MUCH.  If
> the situation doesn't change, we have ABSOLUTELY NO chance to support
> security updates to kernels in the released distribution.
> > In unstable, there are currently kernel sources for six different 2.4 
> > kernels (2.4.{19,20,21,22,24,25}). I'd like to see the number of such 
> > packages reduced.
> Mee too!!!

After a quick view over all kernel and related packages, it seems doable 
to remove all 2.4 kernels except 2.4.24 and 2.4.25.

I'll send a complete proposal for this soon.

> > Please respond if you object to these suggestions.
> Not at all.
> But I'd like to add two more proposals
> 4. Remove all source kernel-foo packages that contain the kernel
>    source but aren't named kerne-source-$(version) and create at
>    least one kernel-source-$(version)*_all.deb.
>    This may already be the case but in woody there are some of these,
>    called kernel-image-foo but contain the entire kernel source.

I checked all kernel-image-* packages in unstable.
Some contain patches, but none contains the complete kernel sources.

> 5. Try to build as many architectures from one source package, so
>    that kernel-image packages can be autobuilt by the buildd network
>    and that the number of source packages reduces.
>    This would help the security team a lot.

This might be doable, but in the end this means that the kernel 
package maintainers from different architectures will have to work 
together on one source package.

One down side would be that an urgent fix for one architecture will 
require new kernel images for all architectures. But e.g. XFree86 faces 
similar problems and it works there.

Slighlty related:
It's good if several architectures can be built without any patches that 
are not in the main kernel source package. As an example, ia64 used to 
require an enormous kernel patch, but looking at kernel-patch-2.6.3-ia64 
it seems to be a joke that this package still exists (it contains only 
two small and trivial patches) [1].

> Regards,
> 	Joey


[1] That's not meant as an offense against Bdale, I'm simply happy that
    this package is no longer really required.


       "Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
        of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
       "Only a promise," Lao Er said.
                                       Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

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