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Re: Upgrade XFree



On 9 Dec 2002, J Kevin Martineau wrote:

>Date: 09 Dec 2002 23:15:31 -0500
>From: J Kevin Martineau <kevinmartineau senets com>
>To: psyche-list redhat com
>Content-Type: text/plain
>List-Id: Discussion of Red Hat Linux 8.0 (Psyche) <psyche-list.redhat.com>
>Subject: Re: Upgrade XFree
>
>On Mon, 2002-12-09 at 17:25, Mike A. Harris wrote:
>
>> The kernel does.
>> 
>> 
>> -- 
>> Mike A. Harris     ftp://people.redhat.com/mharris
>> OS Systems Engineer - XFree86 maintainer - Red Hat
>
>I'm currently using 2.4.18-18.8.0. Is the
>XFree86-4.2.99.2-0.20021122.2.i386.rpm compiled against the 2.4.19-0
>kernel that is in Rawhide?

Sorry, to be more precice...

The Red Hat kernel packages are what provides the "kernel-drm"  
component.  It provides a specific DRM version to match a
specific XFree86 release, as well as prior XFree86 releases that
are known to work with it as well.

Each and every new XFree86 release that comes out, also comes 
with new kernel DRM source code.  The new XFree86 specifically 
requires that the latest DRM modules be used, however Linus' 
kernels never have updated DRM modules that match the latest 
XFree86 release, so a stock Linus kernel is not sufficient.  
Users must either compile DRM kernel modules from XFree86 source 
code themselves, or they must use a kernel which supplies the 
needed DRM modules.

As such, once the new DRM code gets put into a Red Hat rawhide 
kernel, that kernel now advertises support for the new DRM 
version via "Provides: kernel-drm = 4.2.99.2", or whatever 
version is being added at the time.  Once this new Red Hat kernel 
is in rawhide for testing, then XFree86 packaging is updated with 
a "Requires: kernel-drm = 4.2.99.2", as well. This ensures that 
when someone installs the new X, that they are only able to do so 
if they have also installed the Red Hat kernel that provides the 
required kernel DRM component that X needs in order to function 
correctly.

If someone does not use DRI or need it at all, or purposefully 
wants to disable it, then one can disable DRI in their X config 
file, and upgrade to CVS X by using --nodeps during upgrade.  
Please note that upgrading X in this manner will mean that if 
one attempts to use DRI at all, they will get completely 
"undefined" and unsupported behaviour, so use at own risk.  Do 
not file any XFree86 or kernel related bug reports if you are 
using such a configuration.

<PARANOID DISCLAIMER>
Also note that both rawhide CVS XFree86 as well as the rawhide 
kernel are not intended for production.  While many people are 
using them both successfully, they are both developmental 
codebases in a constant state of flux, and should not be used on 
important production machines.  Only use rawhide XFree86 and 
kernel on machines that complete and total data loss would not be 
a problem.
</DISCLAIMER>

That said, many people are using both without major issues.  But 
also there are a few people using them and having major issues 
too.  ;o)

In summary:  With every single new XFree86 release, the kernel 
DRM source code must be updated, and there is therefore a direct 
dependancy on the new DRM kernel modules between XFree86 and the 
kernel.  This is enforced by an rpm virtual "provides" mechanism, 
and users must use a matching XFree86 and kernel combination from 
rawhide, or they can override this if desired and they know what 
they are doing.  Overriding this however, makes your system 
unsupported unless you can reproduce a given problem using the 
Red Hat supplied kernel and XFree86.

Hope this helps.

Take care,
TTYL

P.S  This is a _major_ frequently asked question.  Please forward 
my email to anyone you know of who is experiencing this problem 
and isn't aware of what they need to do.  I'm fairly inundated 
with email on this topic, and do not respond to individual emails 
on the subject, although I try to respond on mailing lists once 
in a while, in hopes that others will carry the message on for 
future people experiencing the issue.



-- 
Mike A. Harris     ftp://people.redhat.com/mharris
OS Systems Engineer - XFree86 maintainer - Red Hat





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