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Summary

Every time a new kernel is introduced, if the user has installed any third party modules, they have to be manually rebuilt by hand. The idea here is to have the drivers automatically rebuilt for the user when the new kernel is installed.

Rationale

Ubuntu includes support for a very useful application called module-assistant. Module-assistant can automate the process of building a kernel module for the current kernel, or any other installed kernel. It can resolve the paths for the user, and make sure the sources for the kernel, the module, and all software surrounding it are fully updated.

When a new kernel is installed, the user will have to either use module-assistant or build the kernel modules manually by hand. This can be very messy, especially in the case of graphics drivers since the user can't login to X to follow directions on how to rebuild the drivers if they don't already know how.

Use cases

* Juan has just installed Ubuntu, and wanted to set up an IR receiver. He uses LIRC, and follows the directions on the wiki for how to build the modules using module-assistant. He wants the setup to just "work" and forget about how he installed it, or have to maintain it regularly with his updates.

* Rachel is a seasoned Gentoo user and has switched to Ubuntu. She is very savvy and knows how to build her own kernel, apply patches and build packages from scratch. She left Gentoo though, hoping that maintaining an Ubuntu box would be less time consuming. When she receives a notification bubble telling her that there are updates, she doesn't want to have to even think about having to manually build a kernel module just because a new kernel was released. She wants to be able to just let it all be taken care of for her.

Scope

During the installation of a kernel package, there will be a post install script that checks if anything has already been built and installed using module-assistant. If so, the contents of this spec will be executed.

Design

* Module-assistant won't be a requirement for the linux-image's, but will be added to the "Recommends". The post install scripts will check for it being installed.

* If module-assistant is indeed installed, it will have to be properly prepared and updated for the first run. The user will build the driver themselves the first time, and then upon the next kernel update - the post install scripts will redo this process for the user before they reboot their machine.

Implementation

Code

Data preservation and migration

Unresolved issues

BoF agenda and discussion


CategorySpec

AutomaticModuleAssistant (last edited 2008-08-06 16:36:18 by localhost)