kernel modules/kmods/dkms (Re: Plan for tomorrows (20070906) FESCO meeting)

Richi Plana myfedora at
Fri Sep 7 14:28:32 UTC 2007

On Fri, 2007-09-07 at 06:55 +0200, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
> On 06.09.2007 20:43, Jeff Spaleta wrote:
> >>> The complexity of separately-packaged kernel modules is unnecessary, and the users' problems with upgrading when the modules are not built synchronously with the kernel will no longer be possible.
> >> Same for dkms, as modules might break if the api changed.
> > 
> > slightly less complex for dkms, because with dkms you don't have to
> > deal with synchronously building the modules on the central build
> > system.
> Yeah -- so we offload the trouble to the user. And that's not the right
> thing to do IMHO. We should provide pre-compiled kernel-modules if we
> want to ship kernel-modules. dkms optional for that that want it: sure.

I thought the idea was to offload the process to the user's computer
(because that's the best place to ascertain version) and not necessarily
the user. It would rather be like NVIDIA's display driver installation
file. The user doesn't even know he/she's compiling (well, they're made
aware but they don't have to know how).

> But the signals from FESCo are afaics: no kernel-modules at all. And I
> think that's the right thing to do in the merged Fedora world.

I just thought I'd point out that that in subsequent discussion, just be
sure to mention that what this really boils down to is a conflict
between what certain spinners and users want (the capability to slim
down their distro to just the bare essentials ... they call it
optimizing) and what maintainers and developers want (easier code
maintenance, no need to write the smart applications that alleviate all
the thinking from the users' part).

But even if you do go on and scrap DKMS and kernel modules from being
separate packages in Fedora, I hope that Fedora helps come up with a
standard for packaging kernel modules in external repos. Fedora is the
best body to regulate the chaos that's going on out there.

My own personal opinion is that a look at ATRPMS' kmdl2 and blessing it
as a standard is the correct thing, speaking of the technical side.
Either that or completely stop relying on putting meta-info into blasted
RPM filenames. :)

Richi Plana

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