[RFC] merging virtualbox-ose-modules into linux-ubuntu-modules

Jeff Schroeder jeffschroed at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 14:42:32 UTC 2008

Since the earlier part of the Hardy development cycle after virtualbox
was put in the repositories there has been
nothing but trouble with it. This leaves users of virtualbox with a
very bad taste in their mouth. It has even caused
some to switch away from Ubuntu as their host OS when using virtualbox
to virtualize other operating systems.

On every single kernel upgrade, there are problems for virtualbox
users. The reason is because the virtualbox
modules are kernel specific and live in universe. A kernel SRU comes
in and the SRU team uploads the new
package. The system sees an update, downloads, and installs the new
kernel. This in turn creates a new
/lib/modules/$kernel_ver directory. modprobe looks in this directory
for the vboxdrv module, but that module
is in /lib/modules/$old_kernel_ver so it bails out.

Short of an ABI bump,  the vboxdrv module seems to load fine if
manually inserted with insmod. However,
this is not an option for "new" linux users. It also seems
unacceptable for virtualbox to break after every single
kernel upgrade

There seem to only be 3 sane approaches to fix this issue:
- Move virtualbox-ose-modules over to dkms
- Merge virtualbox-ose-modules into linux-ubuntu-modules and the
problem goes away transparently
- Put big warnings everywhere that say Ubuntu doesn't treat Sun
VirtualBox as a first class citezen and it should not be used

Does anyone care about VirtualBox or is it an afterthought? This is
meant to be a constructive rant.

jeff at omniscience:~$ uname -r
jeff at omniscience:~$ apt-cache search virtualbox-ose-modules | grep generic
virtualbox-ose-modules-2.6.24-16-generic - virtualbox-ose module for
virtualbox-ose-modules-generic - virtualbox-ose module for linux-image-generic
virtualbox-ose-modules-2.6.24-17-generic - virtualbox-ose module for

Jeff Schroeder

Don't drink and derive, alcohol and analysis don't mix.

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