[Fedora-packaging] Kernel modules packaged for dkms

Matthias Saou thias at spam.spam.spam.spam.spam.spam.spam.egg.and.spam.freshrpms.net
Mon Oct 9 13:13:43 UTC 2006


Regarding kernel modules, as many, I got tired of :
1) Packaging them as binary rpms, tracking new kernels to release new
packages (it's almost impossible to track Rawhide btw).
2) Endless discussions about what packaging method is the best, upgrade
paths, ugliness of versions inside names, common vs. kernel specific
bits etc. etc.

So I decided to go for the dkms approach to install 3rd party kernel
modules, and things got so much simpler. It's pretty obvious : If one
can issue a simple "make" to get a required module, why go through so
much complexity for rpm packages?

There are two possible discussions which can start here :

1) What do Fedora packagers think of dkms? Up to now, no kernel modules
packages using dkms have been released in Extras, nor in 3rd party
repositories AFAIK. Maybe there are some good reasons, in which case
I'm interested in knowing them.

2) If kernel modules packages using dkms are acceptable for Extras,
what guidelines should they follow? Here we'd need at least :
- A naming guideline, for which I'd suggest
"dkms-<modulename>" (Mandrake seems to be using that).
- Recommendations for the dkms calls in the scriplets. Do we build the
module for the current kernel on install (I do)? Do we run depmod on
install (I don't, but maybe I should)?

I'm possibly missing stuff. Anyway, here are some pointers :
http://svn.rpmforge.net/svn/trunk/rpms/dkms-tiacx/ (Extras candidate)
http://svn.rpmforge.net/svn/trunk/rpms/dkms-ipw3945/ (Needs fw/daemon)
http://svn.rpmforge.net/svn/trunk/rpms/madwifi/ (HAL license problem)
http://svn.rpmforge.net/svn/trunk/rpms/nvidia-x11-drv/ (definite NO!)

The last two are good examples of packages that provide both userland
tools and kernel modules, and show how splitting out sub-packages isn't
even required for this case.

Obviously, most 3rd party kernel modules aren't Extras candidates
because of licensing issues, but it would be nice nevertheless to have
some official Extras packaging guidelines for packages using dkms.


Clean custom Red Hat Linux rpm packages : http://freshrpms.net/
Fedora Core release 5.92 (FC6 Test3) - Linux kernel 2.6.18-1.2726.fc6
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