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SubjectRE: [ANNOUNCE] DKMS: Dynamic Kernel Module Support
I've updated DKMS and posted it:

ChangeBlog can be found at:

Here's a copy of the changeblog:

* I added patching support in dkms.conf. You can now specify
PATCH0=<patch_filename>, PATCH1=..., etc. in your dkms.conf and the patches
will be applied in numerical order to your source each time before it
builds. All patches are expected to be in -p1 format and should be installed
into the /usr/src/<module>-<module-version>/patches/ directory.

* With patching support also comes kernel specific patches. These should be
entered in the form of PATCH_<kernel-regexp> in dkms.conf. If the
<kernel-regexp> matches to the kernel you are currently trying to build a
module for, then this patch will be applied. All kernel specific patches are
applied after generic patches.

* All module builds now occur in the directory
/var/dkms/<module>/<module-version>/build/. Before each build, the source is
copied into this directory for /usr/src/<module>-<module-version>/. If a
build succeeds, then this directory is emptied after the build. However, if
a build fails or if patches fail to apply, then this directory is left with
the source in it so that further troubleshooting can be done.

* There is no longer a limit to how many MODULES_CONF entries can be placed
in dkms.conf (used to be a 5 entry limit). As well, the format was changed
from MODULES_CONF_<#>=... to just MODULES_CONF<#>=...

* DKMS no longer sources in /etc/init.d/functions as this is Red Hat
specific and was not utilized anyway.

* Modules are no longer assumed to end with .o. This means the explicit
built name of your module must be specified in dkms.conf.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lerhaupt, Gary
> Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 11:07 AM
> To: ''
> Subject: RE: [ANNOUNCE] DKMS: Dynamic Kernel Module Support
> I wanted to post a follow-up as I have seen only a few
> downloads of DKMS since my original posting and also given
> that the Linux Development Group here at Dell is very
> interested in feedback from the community. The problem of
> chasing kernel drops is a very real issue for Linux solution
> providers. With our constant work with new hardware and
> large deployments involving many customers, at times we
> simply cannot afford to wait for functional drivers in the
> kernel. This is especially true for the discovery and
> resolution of high severity issues. At the same time, we
> cannot just hand updated source tarballs to our customers and
> expect that to be an appropriate customer experience.
> Further, it is just not feasible for us to continue to
> produce kernel specific module RPMs for every kernel that we
> support for every module that we support.
> What is needed instead is a framework that can hold module
> source and can recompile that source directly on user's
> systems for whichever kernel they are running. As well, this
> entire process must be non-painful. We believe that DKMS is
> this solution and we'd like to know if you agree and how it
> can be improved.
> Lastly, as I realize some might take a *don't care* approach
> to such a problem given their personal Linux comfort level,
> I'd like to reiterate from my previous post how such a
> framework could possibly yield benefits to the entire process
> of Linux development. We at Dell are very committed to
> merging code into the kernel, and if a separate framework to
> deploy (and test) module source existed apart from the
> kernel, we envision both an improvement in the speed and
> quality of driver development that can later be pushed back
> into the kernel.
> So, at your convenience we invite you to give DKMS a whirl
> (and to try out the sample QLogic driver included for the
> full experience). Thanks.
> Gary Lerhaupt
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Lerhaupt, Gary
> > Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 12:02 PM
> > To: ''
> > Subject: [ANNOUNCE] DKMS: Dynamic Kernel Module Support
> >
> >
> > DKMS is a framework where device driver source can reside
> > outside the kernel source tree so that it is very easy to
> > rebuild modules as you upgrade kernels. This allows Linux
> > vendors to provide driver drops without having to wait for
> > new kernel releases (as a stopgap before the code can make it
> > back into the kernel), while also taking out the guesswork
> > for customers attempting to recompile modules for new kernels.
> >
> > For veteran Linux users it also provides some advantages
> > since a separate framework for driver drops will remove
> > kernel releases as a blocking mechanism for distributing
> > code. Instead, driver development should speed up as this
> > separate module source tree will allow quicker testing cycles
> > meaning better tested code can later be pushed back into the
> > kernel at a more rapid pace. Its also nice for developers and
> > maintainers as DKMS only requires a source tarball in
> > conjunction with a small configuration file in order to
> > function correctly.
> >
> > The latest DKMS version is available at
> > It is licensed under the GPL.
> > You can also find a sample DKMS enabled QLogic RPM to show
> > you how it all works (or, a mocked-up tarball if you don't
> > like RPMs). If you use the sample RPM, you'll have to install
> > it with --nodeps as it requires the DKMS RPM to be installed
> > (which I haven't provided).
> >
> > ===Using DKMS===
> >
> > DKMS is one bash executable that supports 7 sub-actions: add,
> > build, install, uninstall, remove, status and match.
> >
> > add: Adds an entry into the DKMS tree for later builds. It
> > requires that source be located in
> > /usr/src/<module>-<module-version>/ as well as the location
> > of a properly formatted dkms.conf file (each dkms.conf is
> > module specific and is the configuration file that tells DKMS
> > how to build and where to install your module).
> >
> > build: Builds your module but stops short of installing it.
> > The resultant .o files are stored in the DMKS tree.
> >
> > install: Installs the module in the LOCATION specified in dkms.conf.
> >
> > uninstall: Uninstalls the module and replaces it with
> > whatever original module was found during install (returns
> > your module to the "built" state).
> >
> > remove: Uninstalls and expunges all references of your module
> > from the DKMS tree.
> >
> > status: Displays the current state (added, built, installed)
> > of modules within the DMKS tree as well as whether any
> > original modules have been saved for uninstallation purposes.
> >
> > match: Allows you to take the configuration of DKMS installed
> > modules for one kernel and apply this config to some other
> > kernel. This is helpful when upgrading kernels where you
> > would like to continue using your DKMS modules instead of
> > certain kernel modules.
> >
> > Check out the man page for more details.
> >
> > Gary Lerhaupt
> > Linux Development
> > Dell Computer Corporation
> >

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