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SubjectRe: Distro kernel patches (was Re: Linux 2.2.18pre4)
According to Ralf Gerbig:
> but SuSe and I believe RedHat etc. etc. _do_ ship patched kernels.

You've just made L-K's understatement of the day.

VA has always shipped a patched kernel. As of a few weeks ago, I'm
VA's new kernel coordinator. We're not quite done with the current
internal development cycle for a new kernel; but already we've applied
to our kernel tree about a dozen major patches and over fifty minor
ones. And that's on top of 2.2.18pre, into which Alan had already
merged USB, AGP, and DRM (Thanks, Alan!!!). People who run big
systems and big applications need these patches: 2.4 isn't ready for
production use, stock 2.2 can't make full use of modern hardware, and
the world is moving at Internet time.

And VA's patching habits are the rule, not the exception. Andrea
makes SuSE's kernel, and anyone who's scanned people/andrea on
kernel.org knows how many patches he uses. (I greatly appreciate
Andrea's patch archive, BTW. It's a great place to get major patches
reconciled with each other.) And Red Hat's kernel, last I looked, had
over 150 patches on top of 2.2.14.

On the other hand, just because patching is inevitable doesn't mean
that reducing it isn't worthwhile. The more de facto standard patches
(*cough* NFS RAID[1] HedrickIDE *ahem*) can get into the 2.2 tree, the
easier it will be for everyone to stay up to date, and the less effort
will be wasted on basically clerical patch maintenance work.

[1] I understand the RAID issue with disk format compatibility, which
makes the current RAID patch unacceptable for official 2.2 usage.
I just wish somebody would *solve* that issue.[2]
[2] Having complained about a problem, have I just volunteered myself
to solve it? (HHOS)
--
Chip Salzenberg - a.k.a. - <chip@valinux.com>
"I wanted to play hopscotch with the impenetrable mystery of existence,
but he stepped in a wormhole and had to go in early." // MST3K
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