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Re: RFC: DKMS - Dynamic Kernel Module Support

@debian-kernel: please see the full thread at


On Fri, 12 Sep 2008 10:00:00 +0200, Raphael Hertzog wrote:

> Hi,

Hi Raphael,

> On Thu, 11 Sep 2008, David Paleino wrote:
> > Hello *,
> > some time ago I filed a RFS [1] for DKMS [2], and Daniel Baumann <daniel>
> > asked me what advantages it had over module-assistant.
> > After some talking with upstream, here I have the answer.
> If you decided to package it, you must have had your own motivation, what
> was it? (Was it based on the fact that the ubuntu package had a high
> popcon score as you mention it in the RFS?)

No, not really. I'm sorry if this is the thought I conveyed :(

When I first filed the RFS, I was just starting using DKMS, and so didn't have
all the possible scenarios in mind. Neither have now, but I have rather "a bit
more knowledge" about it.

My motivation to package DKMS was to provide Debian with a framework to
flawlessly install third-party contributed modules (i.e. vendor-provided dkms

> In any case, I strongly believe that we have to go further in the support
> of external modules and that something in the spirit of DKMS is really
> needed. There are however a couple of design decision to take and I
> strongly suggest you to get some review of the choices that will have to be
> made (IMO it should include -devel and -kernel@lists.d.o).

Sure, that's why I wrote to -devel, and didn't file a new RFS directly to
-mentors. -kernel CCed now.

> IMO a solution that install modules manually (i.e. without dpkg) is not
> acceptable. And if we want to install new packages semi-automatically,
> we have to design something for this purpose: it should probably support
> some user-interaction to let the user confirm/infirm the suggestion made
> by the tool that requested the package in the first place.

As already confirmed by corsac, DKMS is able to generate .deb packages. Those
packages will still need DKMS installed on the target system, but, at the end,
the whole thing can be handled by dpkg.

> > This mail is being sent to see what Debian developers (and users) think
> > about this framework: it's useless if no package uses it :)
> Indeed, that's why it's important to have the kernel team involved and
> Daniel in particular as he currently takes care of
> linux-modules-{extra,contrib}

Ok, Daniel CCed as well.

As I see it, the main point here is: how to make sure that the right kernel
headers are installed alongside with new kernels, given that there are modules
in the DKMS tree? (i.e. just making linux-image-* depending on linux-headers-*
isn't an option for me)


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