[ubuntu-x] Status of kernel X drivers

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at ubuntu.com
Mon Feb 22 12:38:23 UTC 2010

Hey Bryce,

Bryce Harrington [2010-02-18 10:34 -0800]:
> On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 10:38:07AM -0500, Chase Douglas wrote:
> > I believe it would 
> > be useful for users to have the option through jockey to install backport 
> > modules, with all the disclaimers of level of support. 
> That's not a bad idea.  I was wondering myself how we'd expose the
> availability of new lbm bits to end users, and this approach seems quite
> sensible.

This is actually pretty tricky to do. Usually Jockey advertises device
drivers based on particular hardware in the system. lbm lumps together
an unspecified and unknown set of drivers, so it is hard to describe
it with particular terms to users, except for a very generic "new
drivers, might break your system or not doing anything at all".

lbm could be changed to create a separate "lbm-modaliases" package,
similar to nvidia-current-modaliases. Jockey uses those lists (e. g.
/usr/share/jockey/modaliases/nvidia-current) to map hardware
(identified by modalias) to driver packages and handlers (a handler is
a bit of Python which provides some glue, description, and detection
for a driver package in Jockey terms).

So the options are:

(1) Write a very simple Jockey handler which does not hardware
    detection at all, and always advertises lbm as a handler.

(2) Split out lbm-modaliases to reflect what drivers are actually in
    lbm, and keep the package description up to date throughout
    Lucid's lifetime, and use the package description as the driver
    description in Jockey (which is the default if the Jockey handler
    doesn't provide its own).

For usability and stability reasons I do not recommend (1) at all, and
in fact would veto it with my desktop tech lead hat on.  It's too
error prone if people enable lbm on random boxes without knowing what
it does, due to the entire concept of how lbm is built. As far as I
understood, lbm was mostly a vehicle for asking users in bug reports,
and OEMs?

Martin Pitt                        | http://www.piware.de
Ubuntu Developer (www.ubuntu.com)  | Debian Developer  (www.debian.org)
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