[ubuntu-x] Proprietary driver ABI handling

Alberto Milone alberto.milone at canonical.com
Tue Feb 1 11:02:11 UTC 2011

On 1 February 2011 00:34, Bryce Harrington <bryce at canonical.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 11:11:33PM +0100, Alberto Milone wrote:
>> On 31/01/11 03:20, Bryce Harrington wrote:
>> > On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 09:40:58AM +1100, Christopher James Halse Rogers wrote:
>> >> It has the disadvantage that we need to maintain a list of supported
>> >> ABIs, and we need to produce the dependency field outside of the xsfbs
>> >> helper system, so they could get out of sync.  I don't think these are
>> >> big disadvantages, as the supported ABI list changes approximately once
>> >> per cycle, and the xsfbs system changes even less often (and we'd need
>> >> to deliberately update when it does anyway).
>> >
>> > (The kernel also tends to break the proprietary drivers.  Would be nice
>> > to have a solution for that as well.)
>> >
>> > I think it's an idea worth trying, but might be wisest to leave 'til
>> > after alpha-2 as I think it'll need a bit more testing than we have time
>> > to coordinate at the moment.
>> Are you referring to kernel ABI changes (which, thanks to DKMS, should
>> no longer be a problem) or to compatibility with new kernel releases?
> The latter.  The ABI breakages seem to be a thing of the past.  :-)
> Bryce

I guess this would prevent users from trying to use newer (and
unsupported) kernels which may or may not work with the driver. This
might not be a big problem since users who want updated drivers should
really use the x-updates PPA (which should have patches for new
kernels), as we wouldn't update drivers in stable releases just to add
support for newer kernels.

I'm not really sure as to whether adding versioned dependencies on the
kernel is the right way to do it and of course I'm open to better


Alberto Milone
Sustaining Engineer (system)
Premium Engagements Team
Canonical OEM Services

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