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Re: Xen/OpenVZ out-of-tree module builds and ABI

On Sun, 2010-10-10 at 09:51 -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Hello, kernel folks.
> We (the NVIDIA packaging team) noticed a commit from the latest Debian
> kernel packaging that said:
>      Refresh ABI reference files
>      Remove files for OpenVZ and Xen featuresets, where we are not
>      trying to keep the module ABI stable.
> (r16351) and weren't entirely sure what that meant.
> We maintain module builds for the NVIDIA kernel drivers (which are
> non-free) using a build package that builds versions for the current
> kernel, primarily for stable releases.  Currently, we're building modules
> for Xen and OpenVZ kernels as well as the regular kernels.
> Does this change mean that the module builds for Xen and OpenVZ kernels
> may not continue working with later versions of those kernels because the
> ABI might not be stable?

Correct.  We try hard to avoid ABI breakage after a freeze and in stable
updates and we have so far succeeded with the 'standard' images, but we
have given up on a stable ABI for the OpenVZ and Xen featuresets.
Unfortunately we currently use a single ABI number across all image
packages so there is no indication of when the ABI changes for them.

> Or is this a more limited change that means
> something more restrictive than that and isn't something we need to worry
> about?
> I ask primarily because we want to be sure it makes sense to release
> pre-built modules for Xen and OpenVZ kernels with squeeze.

I don't think it does.


Ben Hutchings
Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it makes it worse.

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