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SubjectPatches vs complete tarballs....

I've just recently started using Linux and a recent thread on this
mailing list focused on the problem of people downloading complete
kernel sources instead of just the patches to upgrade from earlier
versions of the kernel. I myself am guilty of this practice.

However, in my defense, I have to point out a problem with the patches...


Yes, I'm claiming that the patches aren't correct. The reason I'm
claiming that is because whenever I use a patch, I will get FAILURES
on some files when applying the patch to an unaltered, unmodified
copy of the kernel source.

The method I'm using to apply the patches is as follows:

1. uncompress and untar the original unaltered source into a directory.
2. cd into said directory
3. patch -p2 < patch_file > results
4. examine results

*most* of the files are patched correctly. However, I average about 2 to
3 files per kernel version that fail. If any of you are interested, try to

2.0.34 -> 2.0.35 Has FAILURES
2.1.109 -> 2.1.110 Has FAILURES
2.1.110 -> 2.1.111 Has FAILURES
2.1.111 -> 2.1.112 Has FAILURES
2.1.112 -> 2.1.113 Has FAILURES
2.1.113 -> 2.1.114 Only source that patched without failures.
2.1.114 -> 2.1.115 Has FAILURES

Now, I'm willing to admit that I might be doing something wrong. However,
if you expect to get the average user to trust using patches to upgrade
their kernel, then it is imperative that the patches apply completely and
without any errors when applied over an unaltered version of the source.

Trust me, I'ld much rather use patches vs. complete tarballs. Downloading
250 K is *much* faster than 9 meg, but unless I can apply the patches error
free, I'll continue to download compete kernels.

John Cochran

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