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    SubjectRe: [RFC] Simplifying kernel configuration for distro issues
    On Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 12:08:08PM -0400, Steven Rostedt wrote:
    > On Thu, 2012-07-19 at 11:45 -0400, Josh Boyer wrote:
    > > Of course the kbuild system would need to verify that the selects exist,
    > > > and perhaps warn if they do not. But the nice thing about this is that
    > > > you would get the minconfig for the system you are running. When the
    > > > system is updated to a new version, the minconfig would be updated too.
    > > > The list of selects would not have to live in the kernel, nor would the
    > > > kernel need to maintain the list for N+1 different distributions.
    > >
    > > Is there a reason you don't want distro maintainers to maintain these
    > > files in the upstream git tree? (You said "the kernel need to
    > > maintain", but I would expect the distro maintainers to be doing that
    > > work.)
    > >
    > > I think it would actually be beneficial to maintain them upstream
    > > instead of in distro kernel packaging. You'd be able to track the
    > > history of changes with git. You would see for a given kernel
    > > version what options are set for each distro (e.g. F17 can support
    > > NEW_FOO_THING but F16 userspace can't so it doesn't select that).
    > > Perhaps most importantly, it provides a consolidated view of what
    > > options various distros are setting and allows the distro maintainers to
    > > easily do comparisons.
    >
    > Then we'll have a list of options in each kernel:
    >
    > Fedora 16
    > Fedora 17
    > Fedora 18
    > [...]
    > Debian x
    > Debian x+1
    > Debian x+2
    > [...]
    > Ubuntu y
    > Ubuntu y+1
    > [...]

    Well, yes. I was thinking it would be more like:

    distro/Kconfig.fedora
    menuconfig FEDORA
    if FEDORA
    config FEDORA_16
    select WHATEVER
    config FEDORA_17
    ...

    distro/Kconfig.debian
    menuconfig DEBIAN
    if DEBIAN
    config DEBIAN_X
    ...

    etc.

    Not one giant distro file with a bunch of varying distros doing a bunch
    of selects. But in general, yes there would be options for each
    supported distro release.

    > What about older kernels? Say you installed Fedora 18 with an older
    > kernel that doesn't know what to select? Having the distro tell the
    > kernel what it needs seems to me the easiest for the 99% case.

    How is the above not telling the kernel what it needs? I'm confused how
    the location of such a file makes it's functionality and usefulness
    differ... Quite possible I missed what you meant originally, but it
    sounds like we're talking about the same thing?

    Also, I'm not very convinced the 99% are going to be wanting to install
    shiny new versions of a distro with a kernel older than what the distro
    ships with. I could be very wrong, but it seems like in-general the
    whole premise of this RFC was geared towards using new kernels on
    distros.

    > Also, if something isn't supported by the older kernel, it would warn
    > the user about it. That way the user can be told that their older kernel
    > won't work with this version of the distro. And there wont be as many
    > surprises. If the user is told "your init wont work with this kernel"
    > before they compile it, then they shouldn't complain if they decide to
    > install this older kernel and their box doesn't boot.

    kconfig already spits out warnings for symbols being selected that
    don't exist.

    josh


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