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Dropping unversioned kernel links/copies; adding linux-version command

As you may be aware, the kernel team has been gradually simplifying the
maintainer scripts of kernel image packages and removing features that
are redundant with hooks.  (Note that packages built with make-kpkg or
the upstream 'deb-pkg' target already lack these features.)

One of those features remaining is the creation of symlinks (or hard
links, or copies!) in / or /boot named {vmlinu[zx],initrd.img}{,.old}.
As I understand it, the main reason for these is to allow boot loaders
to be configured using the unversioned link names, so that neither users
nor maintainers have to update the configuration for new kernel

The problems with these unversioned links is:
- Boot loaders that use them don't show kernel version numbers
- The logic to update them safely is extremely complex
- They often end up broken after a package removal (particularly
the .old links), and this can prevent updating the boot loader

The difficulties with including all kernel versions seems to be:
- Listing installed kernel images (?)
- Comparing and sort versions (grub gets this wrong)

With version 3.2 of linux-base, I've added the command 'linux-version'
which should make these things easier, and should help you to generate
kernel version menus without the aid of links.

If there are any remaining reasons to continue using the unversioned
links, or additional features you think linux-version should provide,
please let us know.


Ben Hutchings
Reality is just a crutch for people who can't handle science fiction.

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