Re: [RFC] Kernel version numbering scheme change

From: Adrian Bunk
Date: Thu Oct 16 2008 - 08:50:10 EST

On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 05:25:09PM -0700, Greg KH wrote:
> Hi,

Hi Greg,

> Yes, we can handle the major/minor macros in the kernel to provide a
> compatible number so that automated scripts will not break, that's not a
> big deal.
> Any thoughts?

how much of userspace breaks when we suddenly "just for fun" change the
version numbering scheme in a very radical way?

I'm not thinking of scripts for building the kernel.

I'm thinking of the fact that starting with glibc different pieces of
userspace software interpret the kernel version number they get from
various sources like e.g. <linux/version.h>, "uname -r" or an ioctl.

As a random example, the "config" script of OpenSSL 0.9.8g contains the

<-- snip -->

RELEASE=`(uname -r) 2>/dev/null` || RELEASE="unknown"
echo "${MACHINE}-whatever-linux2"; exit 0

echo "${MACHINE}-whatever-linux1"; exit 0

<-- snip -->

Change the version number of the kernel in the way you suggest, and
trying to build it will fail with:

<-- snip -->

$ ./config
Operating system: x86_64-whatever-Linux
This system (Linux) is not supported. See file INSTALL for details.

<-- snip -->

If a distribution will try to autobuild an urgent OpenSSL security
update for their stable release in a chroot on a machine running
kernel 2009.2.3 they will surely love you for being responsible
for this...

> thanks,
> greg k-h



"Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
"Only a promise," Lao Er said.
Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at