Re: [RFC] Simplifying kernel configuration for distro issues

From: david
Date: Thu Jul 19 2012 - 17:04:28 EST

On Thu, 19 Jul 2012, Josh Boyer wrote:

On Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 02:13:40PM -0400, Steven Rostedt wrote:
On Thu, 2012-07-19 at 13:56 -0400, Josh Boyer wrote:

Distros aren't stationary things.

Exactly my point.

I mean, some of them certainly aim
for that goal, but userspace and kernels get upgraded all the time. So
if this distro-Kconfig file is provided by some package _other_ than the
kernel the distros are going to have a bit of a hassle keeping track of

How about a directory called /usr/share/Linux/Kconfig.d/

Then have anything installed that needs to work correctly put in its
minimum (must have) requirement configs of the kernel.

Say you are running Debian, and decide to try out systemd. If you set up
your system to run that it would add a file called:


or something, and this would select things like CGROUPS and the like. We
could make the kernel build select all, or individual files in this
directory. All for the 'make my distro work' or individual for a 'I want
part of my distro to work' option.

That sounds like a pretty good idea, aside from the fact that now your
config is determined by 1) what is currently installed on your system
and 2) people that don't maintain the kernel.

1 is obviously a great thing once you have a stable working set of
packages you use daily, but wouldn't it kind of suck to have to rebuild
the kernel just to install some new package? I mean... say you wanted
to now use an NFS mount, but you didn't have nfs-utils previously
installed. So you install it, and it plops the kconfig file in
/usr/share but oops, you have to rebuild the kernel and reboot because
that module isn't built. Of course I'm extrapolating possibly the worst
usage case here, but it will still happen.

the alturnative to this is what? compile everything just in case you need it some time in the future?

we already have some tools (vmware) that check for the proper kernel config when they startup, and if the appropriate stuff isn't there they ask for the root password and compile the modules.

2... yeah. I don't really know if that is going to pan out, but I am
ever hopeful. I'd be mostly concerned with people that are coding
userspace applications using every whiz-bang kernel feature. Or not
paying attention at all to the kernel after the initial file creation
and the options going stale (don't follow renames, etc).

it would be determined by the distro maintainers who maintain the kernel config for that distro.

David Lang
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