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Old 04-01-2011, 03:33 AM
Ben Hutchings
 
Default 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
versions.

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.

--
Ben Hutchings
Reality is just a crutch for people who can't handle science fiction.
 
Old 04-01-2011, 12:04 PM
Ben Hutchings
 
Default Dropping unversioned kernel links/copies; adding linux-version command

On Fri, 2011-04-01 at 13:49 +0200, Vladimir 'φ-coder/phcoder' Serbinenko
wrote:
> Hello, all. I'm not a packager but GRUB2 upstream maintainer and so I'll
> speak from our point of view.
> > Dropping unversioned kernel links/copies
> Go for it. These files are just a nuisance
> > 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
> > versions.
> >
> Hm, goal not really accomplished. But I'll provide some GRUB2
> configuration snippets to accomplish this with scanning the kernel list
> at boot time if some admins don't want to rely on update-grub being
> correctly run. These scripts would just be an alternative, not default.
> > - Comparing and sort versions (grub gets this wrong)
> >
> >
> Trouble comes from Debian adopting seemingly unpredictable version
> suffixes.

No it doesn't. '-rcN' is just as problematic as '-trunk'.

> Could you perhaps provide a spec on how to compile 2 Linux
> versions so we all get it right and done in the same way?
> > 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.
> >
> Haven't checked it yet. However I would like to avoid using
> debian-specific tool if possible. So I'd prefer a spec.

There isn't an official spec. However the source and unit tests for the
DebianLinux Perl module (added to linux-base to support this command)
explain the rules I came up with.

Ben.

--
Ben Hutchings
Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it makes it worse.
 

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