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Re: Bits from the kernel team

On Tue, 2009-12-22 at 19:39 +0100, Kurt Roeckx wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 20, 2009 at 04:50:22PM +0000, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> > On Sun, 2009-12-20 at 17:22 +0100, Kurt Roeckx wrote:
> > > Hi,
> > > 
> > > Now that we have a 2.6.32 kernel in unstable, can you updates us
> > > on the various things mentioned in this mail?
> > > 
> > > For instance, as I understand it, most other distro's recently
> > > had a release with a 2.6.31 kernel?
> > 
> > Fedora 12, Ubuntu 9.10 and openSUSE 11.2 have this kernel version.
> > 
> > > Do you know if there are 
> > > plans to have a kernel with backported drivers, one used by
> > > multiple distributions?
> > 
> > I've not heard of a general plan for that.  However there is a
> > compat-wireless project (covering Wifi and Bluetooth drivers) that I
> > think Fedora and Ubuntu are pulling from.  That might be something we
> > should do too.
> For etch we had an Etch-And-A-Half kernel to add support for new
> hardware.  Which also meant we had to upgrade some things because
> the kernel has the habbit of breaking things.  I don't know if
> there are simular plans for lenny?

No, this would have had to be planned for in the middle of this year,
but then we were told squeeze would freeze in December.

Currently you can install kernel images from unstable or backports
without any extra dependencies.  I'm not aware of any significant
breakage though some packages may rely on deprecated and removed stuff
in procfs or sysfs.

> Anyway what I would really like to see is a kernel that adds
> support for more hardware and fixes bugs without any other changes.

We already do backport new hardware support in response to specific

> I believe that 2.6.16.x was supposed to do that, but in the end
> only contained bug fixes.   And they now seem to have various
> versions for which they fix bugs.

Right, and 2.6.32 will be one of them.

> But this doesn't solve our
> problem that by the time we release our kernel is probably
> outdated already for new hardware.  And this is about more than
> just wifi and bluetooth.
> I was hoping that various distributions could work together to
> have long time support for 1 kernel version that adds new hardware
> support.  Where that would be atleast some time after squeeze+1 is
> released.  Since the other distro's used a 2.6.31 kernel recently,
> and we seem to be going for 2.6.32(?), it seems unlikely that we
> can get all to work on 1 such kernel version.

We talked to the Ubuntu kernel team and the plan is that Ubuntu 10.04
LTS will also use 2.6.32.

> But maybe we should look at what the "enterprise" versions will be
> using instead?

RHEL 6 is due real soon now.  I hope they will also go with 2.6.32, but
RH is keeping very quiet about such specifics.  SLE 11 is not that old
so I don't expect SUSE will use this version.


Ben Hutchings
Experience is what causes a person to make new mistakes instead of old ones.

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