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Re: NPTL support in 2.4 kernel series?

On Sat, Jan 22, 2005 at 08:19:33AM +0000, Martin Kittel wrote:
> I am still favouring the solution using "Depends" and scripts to detect whether
> you are running the right kernel.

Depends enforce that the depended-upon package is installed on the system --
meaning that it's unpacked and configured.  It can *not* ensure that a
particular kernel is running on the system.

Furthermore, it is *not* required that Debian users use Debian kernel
packages; there are a large number of users who roll their own kernels, and
even though it's easier than ever to build packages for them using
kernel-package, there is no requirement that they do so.

For both of these reasons, packages for userspace software do not express
kernel requirements using the Depends: field.  This is not something that
you should be changing unilaterally without first getting a consensus in the
Debian development community that this is the direction we want to go.

> So from my point of view there still is no valid alternative to declaring a
> "Depends" on kernel-image-2.6 and having run-time checks for the right kernel
> version (whereever possible). People running 2.6 without having it registerd
> with dpkg can always tell dpkg to ignore the dependency.

You most *certainly* should not be encouraging users to override dpkg's
dependency handling, that's a sure sign that your dependencies are wrong!

Using runtime checks is the most appropriate solution here.

> And finally, to come back to my initial question: Is there a way of declaring a
> dependency on NPTL other than depending on kernel-image-2.6?

Documenting it in the package preinst and/or the README.Debian?

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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