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Re: what is patched and what is not?

begin  Ian! D. Allen [NCFreeNet]  quotation:

> I'm trying to pick a kernel for ext3.
> Looking at the web page (http://www.zip.com.au/~akpm/linux/ext3/), I see
> little that clues me in to the fact that "most" of ext3 is already in
> (some|most|all) of the 2.4 series kernels.

Correct, starting at about 2.4.13 or so (I forget exactly which release).

> Am I correct that most of the patches listed on the web page now are
> actually bug fixes to the existing ext3 code, as opposed to previous
> patches that actually added ext3 functionality to the stock kernels?
> New arrivals to the page will want to know that, especially given all
> the out-of-date documentation floating around the Net saying you have
> to patch to add ext3 to the kernel.

Well, you can certainly assume that if a patch says that it's for 2.4.x,
it is newer than the ext3 code in the official 2.4.x sources, for
whatever value of x. However, it may be that the only changes are for
very unlikely error cases that may not even be relevant to your
hardware. So far, I have seen no need to patch kernel 2.4.17 with newer
ext3 code.

> As best I understand what I see on the web page, patches get put there
> because of the time lag in getting them into the actual kernel.  A patch
> put on the web page for kernel X.Y is eventually rolled into kernel X.Z
> (for some Z > Y) and the patch is unneccessary for anyone running kernels
> X.P for all P >= Z.

This is what I believe also.

> What is *not* at all clear is how newcomers can determine the value of
> "Z".  Is the patch ext3-2.4-0.9.16-2417p2.gz against 2.4.17-pre2 already
> incorported into the next kernel version 2.4.17-pre3, or did it hang
> around until 2.4.17-pre4, or -pre5, or -pre999?  Did it make it into
> the kernel at all?  How can we know?

You could consult the kernel change logs (which are online at
kernel.org). My guess is that if the ext3 web site has a patch to be
applied to, say, 2.4.18pre2, and the kernel change log for some
subsequent 2.4.18pre says that it includes "ext3 updates", then the pre2
patch is probably no longer needed. To be doubly certain, you could
compare the ext3-2.4.18pre2 patch to the kernel-2.4.18pre3 patch (or
whatever version contains "ext3 updates") to see if it appears to be

> Could the web page be updated to contain the information about in
> which kernel version the listed patches have actually been applied?

That's obviously a little extra work, but if the ext3 developers can
spare the time for it, it would be nice.


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