Re: BLCR Debian Packages

From: Paul H. Hargrove (PHHargrove_at_lbl_dot_gov)
Date: Thu Jul 23 2009 - 20:06:48 PDT

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      We would be happy to see you prepare and maintain packed versions of 
    BLCR for Debian, just as Neal Becker has been maintaining RPMs for 
    rmpfusion.  Some answers:
    1) As you guess, the userspace parts require that the loaded kernel 
    module be the right BLCR version (and they perform an interface-version 
    check at startup to be paranoid).  Nothing about the kernel version is 
    encoded in the userspace portions.
    2) You are right that a stripped down source tree for the kernel 
    portions would be nice, but as you also observe that is potentially a 
    big change.  For now, I am afraid my recommendation is to live with the 
    bloat of the full tarball.  In the future, however, I would like to 
    separate the configure into three portions: common, kernel and user.  My 
    motivation for wanting this is to allow building of both 32-bit and 
    64-bit userspace in a way more natural than how we do it now, and as a 
    side-effect allow the choice between the 32- or 64-bit utilities (right 
    now a multilib build always installs the 64-bit utils).  However, it 
    would also help with packaging the kernel-module sources.  I have no 
    immediate plans to do this split myself, but would be happy to consider 
    contributed work if anybody reading this wants to take a stab at it.  
    The --use-installed-* stuff already controls which portions of configure 
    get run, so the "common", "kernel" and "user" portions are already 
    Best of luck with this endeavor.
    Alan Woodland wrote:
    > Hi,
    > A Debian user has requested packages of BLCR.
    > (
    > As a BLCR user and Debian developer, with a vested interest in seeing
    > BLCR packages I thought I'd give it a go myself (I hope that's ok with
    > you?). I'm in the process of packaging things, but I've got a few
    > questions/issues I'd like to check up on:
    > 1) Are the userspace parts (library, utilities and development
    > headers) are independent of the running kernel version? They only
    > depend upon a kernel module of the same BLCR version for the current
    > running kernel correct? The package structure that fits best with the
    > Debian way is to make libcr0, libcr-dev blcr-util, blcr-source (and on
    > amd64 lib32cr0), as well as blcr-modules-KERNEL appropriate to the
    > release. To build all the userspace bits I'm currently configuring
    > with the '--with-installed-modules' option.
    > 2) To build the blcr-modules-KERNEL the ideal solution would be to use
    > module assistant (this means that even on custom kernels users could
    > type 'm-a a-i blcr' and get a working kernel module automagicaly built
    > for them. In order to do this there needs to be a cut down source
    > tarball built, which lives inside the blcr-source package that can
    > build the kernel modules for a given kernel. At the moment I'm just
    > re-taring the whole of the BLCR source tree for this and then making
    > module assistant call the whole configure script again, with
    > --with-installed-libcr --with-installed-util --with-components=modules
    > so that it only builds the kernel modules. Is there a nicer way of
    > going about this? The configure script is obviously critical here, but
    > can you suggest a nice way of trimming things down? Most modules seem
    > to end up just shipping *.c and *.h required for the kernel module in
    > this, along with a paired down makefile. I did wonder about moving the
    > kernel space bits into a sub-tree and having configure call configure
    > on a subdirectory, but that's a pretty substantial patch.
    > Does this sound reasonable? Would someone be willing to test (and
    > review?) this for me? I'd very much like to see BLCR in Debian, but I
    > don't want to end up acting unilaterally!
    > Thanks,
    > Alan
    Paul H. Hargrove                          PHHargrove_at_lbl_dot_gov
    Future Technologies Group                 Tel: +1-510-495-2352
    HPC Research Department                   Fax: +1-510-486-6900
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory     

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