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SubjectRe: A Desktop Linux idea: modulized open hardware database for the linux kernel config
Date
> <andreas.thalhammer <at> linux.com> writes:
>[cut down because of gmane's web interface quotation policy]
>
>> But hey, it was just an idea. A stupid one maybe. So thanks for answering
>> anyway.
>>
>
>
>Uh like any great idea, you need to show the world, how
>serious you are about it : do the first step and collect a few,
>then share a link, wikipedia or pastebin style maybe for starters ;)
>
>In other words, "let's go and you do it", doesn't sound like
>a good starting pitch ;)
>
>-L.

"If I could have, I would have" already done it. I wouldn’t know how.
I’m sorry if this soulds like "you do it"… the intension was to see what you
think about it.

I was working with the hardware database from Fedora (RedHat): Smolt. But
Smolt was shut down: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Smolt_retirement

When I started working with it, and with other resources of this kind, I
always found that it was too chaotic because there are too many ways of
describing how to get a Linux system running on a specific hardware. Take the
ThinkWiki for example. It describes how to get some specific parts of specific
ThinkPad series to work on Linux, but it could be the same procedure and/or
patch used for other Laptops or PCs.

I had my hardware added to Smolt for the reason to have other benefit from the
information on how to get it running (if I got it running) and which kernel
version is at least required and other useful information.

During that time the idea came up that an automized configuration for a
specific computer would be a benefit.

That is: make a defconfig, not for a very generic system but for very specific
system parts. The example is: PC + Desktop + experimental + <My specific
motherboard> + AMD_K10 SMP + RadeonHD_Barts + AllStableUSB + <My specific
webcam> + …

This "profile" would go into a global configuration file for my computer. The
"make defconfig" would then use this information to e.g. set this very
specific CONFIG_SENSORS_F71882FG, because the system now knows which specific
hardware it is built for. It will leave out all unnecessary stuff, unless
otherwise included (in the profile). The provided information could even be
used to tell GRUB (grub-mkconfig) for which kernel version which command line
options must be used.

Putting all this on a server (like Smolt) and having it put together with
version information (like: on kernel 3.2 it is CONFIG_SOMETHING whereas
starting with 3.3 it is CONFIG_SOMETHINGELSE and includes
CONFIG_SOMETHINGELSE_WITH_AN_OPTION) and combined with a Wiki – and all of
that can be discussed and created online by users, would get a power-user-
community process started. Maybe. Hopefully.

With Smolt this wasn’t so. It was too limited in many ways.

There are verious Wiki, Blog and Wordpress pages that describe how to compile
the linux kernel (and userland software) for a specific system. But there is no
central site for that.

If Smolt had been a little "better", and more useful in the sense of "this is
my hardware – someone with the same, what is your kernel .config file looking
like?" would have helped a lot of non-power-users, that – nevertheless – like
to compile their own kernel, and maybe add something that was missing in the
distribution kernel…

Giving them a "make myconfig" with some little extra information (What type of
use? "Desktop", how stable? "experimental", and what extra hardware?
"<specific>" or "very general, like a distribution kernel") would make their
lifes easier; also for power-users.

Power-users would in addition provide the config modules (like: what is needed
for a specific hardware/hardware expansion) and help on a server site that
hosts this information.

I’m sorry, but I cannot possibly do this all by myself. I was able to help in
some Wikis and in Smolt, but I cannot setup such a system. Apparently I was
only able to come up with the idea…


(Since I am not even able to answer you, I post as a follow-up to my previous
post).
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