Re: [RFC] Simplifying kernel configuration for distro issues

From: Josh Boyer
Date: Thu Jul 19 2012 - 18:35:49 EST

On Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 02:04:11PM -0700, david@xxxxxxx wrote:
> 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
> >>>it.
> >>
> >>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:
> >>
> >>/usr/share/Linux/Kconfig.d/systemd.conf
> >>
> >>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?

Why do people swing from one extreme to another so quickly? Surely
there is some middle ground.

> 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.

Erm... not in Steven's scheme. At least I don't think distro kernel
maintainers are going to willingly crawl through every application
package that might depend on a kernel feature being enabled and maintain
those files across X number of packages.

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