Crash while upgrading kernel & stable releases

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Mon Jun 20 17:47:16 CDT 2005

On Tue, Jun 21, 2005 at 12:36:15AM +0200, Markus Kolb wrote:

> Matt Zimmerman wrote on Mon, Jun 20, 2005 at 14:42:53 -0700:
> > On Mon, Jun 20, 2005 at 11:34:56PM +0200, Markus Kolb wrote:
> > 
> [...]
> > I don't know what gave you that impression, but I do know why you want this.
> > I am explaining the way it actually works today, and why.
> You have only written that selfcompiled kernel modules must be
> recompiled. Is that a reason against availability?

This is not a question of availability; you have proposed that we should
change the way that we name our kernels, and I have explained why we name
them the way that we do.

Every time the package name is changed, if the user has added modules to
their kernel, those modules become unavailable with the next reboot and need
to be recompiled.

Furthermore, this would drastically increase the number of kernels present
on the system.  The kernel in Ubuntu 4.10 has been update 19 times since its
release!  If all of these kernels remained installed, they would occupy a
gigabyte of disk space, and create 38 entries in the GRUB menu.

> > That is not true.  The packaging system is very careful about this, and an
> > interrupted installation should not make the system unbootable.
> What is not true? That a kernel update doesn't finish succesful if I
> switch off power during write?
> The packaging system moves the old files to .dpkg-tmp and installs
> the new files. If succesful it deletes dpkg-tmp or it restores the old
> state. Right?

No, that is not right.  The files are all unpacked to <filename>.dpkg-new,
and then, when unpacking is complete, they are all renamed into place.  Each
rename is atomic, and because the old and new kernels are compatible, even
if the system has a mixture of old and new files, this is generally not
catastrophic, and the system will still boot.

initrd generation is handled in similar fashion.

I understand that you want to help, but it is important to investigate and
understand the problem before proposing a solution.  Otherwise, it will be
frustrating for everyone involved.

 - mdz

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list