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Re: NPTL support in 2.4 kernel series?

Martin Kittel wrote:

> Andreas Metzler <ametzler <at> downhill.at.eu.org> writes:
>> On a freshly installed Debian system you can happily uninstall any
>> kernel-image package because there are no[1] dependencies on it,
>> *because* installing kernels with make install is supported practice.
>> [1] Except for acouple of kernel-modules packages, which depend on a
>> specific kernel compiled with specific options selected.
> Then one might wonder what is the use of a general "Provides:
> kernel-image-xy" if one is not to use it. In my opinion it is there so
> one can use it if necessary.

Good question.  If it is not to be used in this manner, there doesn't
seem to be much point in its existence.  Kernel folks?

At first I thought it was to support people who are obsessed with always
having the Latest and Greatest (TM) so that they always get the newest
kernel image installed automatically.  Then I realized you were talking
about the virtual package kernel-image-2.6, not the real meta-package

> I still don't like this as the only solution, because by default it
> will break the running setup of people still using 2.4
> kernels. They'll get the update installed and the package is
> broken. Is that what you expect? I know, you can have kernel-image-2.6
> installed and still be running a 2.4 kernel, but then there is no way
> you could prevent this using package management and the run-time
> checks have to come in.

Since adding NPTL will break upgrades for people running 2.4 kernels, my
suggestion is to have two MaxDB source packages: the earlier (soon-to-be
obsolete) source package still using linuxthreads, and the later
(not-working-on-2.4) source package that has switched to NPTL.  I took a
quick look and saw that your source package and some of the binary
packages already include the version in the name, so this should not be
too difficult a transition.  (Of course, I'm saying this as someone who
doesn't have to do it!)

In the debian/control descriptions of the old linuxthreads packages, you
would mention that they are obsolete, and that the user should install
the newer packages if s/he can use a 2.6 kernel.  The NPTL package would
naturally include the wrapper scripts, Debconf note, etc. to complain
"You need to run a 2.6 kernel for this to work!" if uname -r prints

Hope this suggestion is at least vaguely helpful.


Kevin B. McCarty <kmccarty@princeton.edu>   Physics Department
WWW: http://www.princeton.edu/~kmccarty/    Princeton University
GPG public key ID: 4F83C751                 Princeton, NJ 08544

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