Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Feature in Stable Kernel?

Last night, i performed a kernel compilation and upgrade it to the latest -stable kernel ( and it was very quick, since i do all the compilation in a single command, by issuing make bzImage; make modules; make modules_install which will
1) Create new kernel image
2) Compile the modules
3) Install the modules

After all of above commands were finished, i just have to copy some files to /boot directory (System.map, .config, and bzImage), rename it to reflect the kernel version and assign the correct symlink (System.map -> System.map-, config -> config-, vmlinuz -> vmlinuz-

Why do i choose this kind of scheme? Well, in my opinion, it's easier if we gave the version number on the file, so when we want to delete the old kernel, we can just do it by deleting the file that matches with the number, so if you have just upgraded to and you want to delete 2.6.19, you can just type rm *2.6.19* in /boot, /lib/modules, and /usr/src (make sure that your new kernel works first before deleting this files, since it's irreversible).

One thing that makes me curious is that there was a new question when i ran make oldconfig, which didn't suppose to be there, since it's a -stable kernel. Usually, a -stable kernel only consists of security update or bug fixes, but not new feature(s) which should be done in the next final kernel release. The question was about new feature to support 2/3 button emulation on Macintosh computers. When i traced back to the Changelog, i found this information:
commit ee3b6b5324ad82788fb051fac4765a7e6835b454
Author: Soeren Sonnenburg <kernel@nn7.de>
Date: Thu Feb 8 14:20:38 2007 -0800

enable mouse button 2+3 emulation for x86 macs

As macbook/macbook pro's also have to live with a single mouse button the following patch just enables the Macintosh device drivers menu in Kconfig + adds the macintosh dir to the obj-* to make macbook* users happy (who use exactly that since months....

Signed-off-by: Soeren Sonnenburg <kernel@nn7.de>
Cc: Benjamin Herrenschmidt <benh@kernel.crashing.org>
Cc: Paul Mackerras <paulus@samba.org>
Cc: Dmitry Torokhov <dtor@mail.ru>
Signed-off-by: Andrew Morton <akpm@linux-foundation.org>
Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman <gregkh@suse.de>

I guess that it won't bite too much if this feature is being added and something goes wrong, so they just put this updates on -stable kernel (even though it's disabled by default if you enabled them in the configuration phase since i'm not using Macintosh).