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

Ben Collins ben.collins at canonical.com
Wed Jun 4 15:22:13 UTC 2008

> 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

This is the suggested method. It is also transparent (just as much so as
the next option).

> - Merge virtualbox-ose-modules into linux-ubuntu-modules and the
> problem goes away transparently

Can't do this. Putting vm monitor modules into our main packaging has
caused way too many problems already (vmware, vbox and the like).
Matching our pre-installed vmmon to the userspace application is
extremely difficult, and the incompatibilities for new userspace
application ABI to the vmmon ABI causes even more problems than you are
trying to solve.

> - 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.

Let's not get melodramatic. All virtual machine vendors suffer the same
problem. VMWare has taken a good step toward making this easy for the
user in their new beta versions where the GUI handles the recompilation,
and thus, makes them distro agnostic on how they handle this problem.

Of course we care, but virtual machine vendors (both proprietary and
open source) have a self inflicted kernel+vmmon+virtual-machine ABI to
stick to, and mixing it with kernel ABI matching just doubles the
problems. DKMS (or something similar) is the preferred and desired way
to resolve this if the vm isn't going to handle it itself.

> jeff at omniscience:~$ uname -r
> 2.6.24-18-generic
> jeff at omniscience:~$ apt-cache search virtualbox-ose-modules | grep generic
> virtualbox-ose-modules-2.6.24-16-generic - virtualbox-ose module for
> linux-image-2.6.24-16-generic
> virtualbox-ose-modules-generic - virtualbox-ose module for linux-image-generic
> virtualbox-ose-modules-2.6.24-17-generic - virtualbox-ose module for
> linux-image-2.6.24-17-generic
> -- 
> Jeff Schroeder
> Don't drink and derive, alcohol and analysis don't mix.
> http://www.digitalprognosis.com

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