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12 <title>GLEP 26 -- Handling kernels with portage</title>
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27 <div class="document">
28 <table class="rfc2822 field-list" frame="void" rules="none">
29 <col class="field-name" />
30 <col class="field-body" />
31 <tbody valign="top">
32 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">GLEP:</th><td class="field-body">26</td>
33 </tr>
34 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Title:</th><td class="field-body">Handling kernels with portage</td>
35 </tr>
36 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Version:</th><td class="field-body">1.1</td>
37 </tr>
38 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Last-Modified:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="http://www.gentoo.org/cgi-bin/viewcvs.cgi/xml/htdocs/proj/en/glep/glep-0026.txt?cvsroot=gentoo">2004/05/03 01:48:45</a></td>
39 </tr>
40 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Author:</th><td class="field-body">Nathaniel McCallum &lt;npmccallum&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;, Joshua Campbell &lt;warpzero&#32;&#97;t&#32;gentoo.org&gt;</td>
41 </tr>
42 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Status:</th><td class="field-body">Draft</td>
43 </tr>
44 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Type:</th><td class="field-body">Standards Track</td>
45 </tr>
46 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Content-Type:</th><td class="field-body"><a class="reference" href="glep-0002.html">text/x-rst</a></td>
47 </tr>
48 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Created:</th><td class="field-body">2-May-2004</td>
49 </tr>
50 <tr class="field"><th class="field-name">Post-History:</th><td class="field-body">2-May-2004</td>
51 </tr>
52 </tbody>
53 </table>
54 <hr />
55 <div class="contents topic" id="contents">
56 <p class="topic-title"><a name="contents">Contents</a></p>
57 <ul class="simple">
58 <li><a class="reference" href="#abstract" id="id2" name="id2">Abstract</a></li>
59 <li><a class="reference" href="#motivation" id="id3" name="id3">Motivation</a></li>
60 <li><a class="reference" href="#specification" id="id4" name="id4">Specification</a></li>
61 <li><a class="reference" href="#rationale" id="id5" name="id5">Rationale</a></li>
62 <li><a class="reference" href="#backwards-compatibility" id="id6" name="id6">Backwards Compatibility</a></li>
63 <li><a class="reference" href="#reference-implementation" id="id7" name="id7">Reference Implementation</a></li>
64 <li><a class="reference" href="#copyright" id="id8" name="id8">Copyright</a></li>
65 </ul>
66 </div>
67 <div class="section" id="abstract">
68 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id2" name="abstract">Abstract</a></h1>
69 <p>This GLEP proposes to create a more consistent handling of kernels and kernel building.
70 Currently &quot;emerge kernel-name&quot; only installs the sources and does not build anything.
71 &quot;emerge kernel-name&quot; should install only sources OR only a binary kernel, its modules,
72 and a tarballed package of kernel-headers, depending on USE flag.</p>
73 </div>
74 <div class="section" id="motivation">
75 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id3" name="motivation">Motivation</a></h1>
76 <p>Currently, the only automated kernel build proceedure that we have is genkernel. While
77 genkernel is a great tool, its main weakness is that it does not port well to other
78 arches because of the initrd and the lack of good &quot;generic&quot; settings for other arches.
79 This GLEP hopes to overcome this by abstracting the various layers of genkernel and
80 implementing the most common aspect (the build proceedure) into a portage eclass.</p>
81 </div>
82 <div class="section" id="specification">
83 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id4" name="specification">Specification</a></h1>
84 <p>There would be 3 layers to kernel building: (place of implementation)</p>
85 <blockquote>
86 <ul class="simple">
87 <li>Stage 1 - Configuring the kernel (optional) -- external utility</li>
88 <li>Stage 2 - Building the kernel -- in an eclass</li>
89 <li>Stage 3 - Building the initrd (optional) -- in an ebuild</li>
90 </ul>
91 </blockquote>
92 <p>Stages 1 and 3 are optional on most arches.</p>
93 <p>Stage 1 would be achieved through a seperate utility (perhaps like the current
94 genkernel). This utility would help the user configure the kernel and any kernel/build
95 related settings. This stage is optional and would only be used if a person wanted a
96 customized kernel settings. One optional thought is to have this utility a part of the
97 base Gentoo system. That way there are less steps to make a custom kernel.</p>
98 <p>Stage 2 would be implimented through an eclass. This stage is not optional. One would
99 perform this step by typing &quot;emerge kernel-name&quot;, where &quot;kernel-name&quot; is the name of
100 the kernel package you want to use (ie. &quot;gentoo-dev&quot;). This package would have a
101 &quot;buildkernel&quot; USE flag. If the flag was not set, it would simply download and install
102 sources like we do currently. However, if the &quot;buildkernel&quot; flag is set, portage will
103 perform the following steps:</p>
104 <blockquote>
105 <ol class="arabic simple">
106 <li>(as a dependency) download and install a tarball of &quot;generic&quot; kernel config files.</li>
107 <li>Check to see if customized kernel config/settings have been set via Stage 1.</li>
108 <li>Portage will use a custom config, if available. Otherwise, a &quot;generic&quot; config.</li>
109 <li>If neither a custom config or a &quot;generic&quot; config is available, die (with message).
110 This is needed as some arches don't/can't have &quot;generic&quot; configs, so they will
111 simply be presented a message telling them to run the utility from Stage 1 (which
112 they obviously skipped).</li>
113 <li>Build the kernel and modules and install them</li>
114 <li>Remove unnecessary files from the sources and tarball it as &quot;kernel-headers&quot;.
115 This tarball provides the appropriate files to build external modules against, like
116 nvidia-kernel, etc... The external modules (when built) will determine the running
117 kernel and unpack the appropriate tarball, to build against, then remove the files.</li>
118 </ol>
119 </blockquote>
120 <p>Stage 3 would merely be an ebuild that constructs an initrd image for either the running
121 kernel or, lacking a running kernel, the newest kernel installed (by version/date installed?).
122 Initrd's can't be used on all arches, so this ebuild can be keyword masked as appropriate.
123 The initrd package would also have a &quot;bootsplash&quot; USE flag (on x86, maybe others) that
124 would build in bootsplash support. Any non-default actions desired by the user can be
125 handled with the utility from Stage 1.</p>
126 <p>This would lead us to several case scenarios (assuming kernel-config is part of the base
127 system):</p>
128 <blockquote>
129 <ol class="arabic">
130 <li><p class="first">default kernel, no initrd: &quot;emerge gentoo-kernel&quot;</p>
131 </li>
132 <li><p class="first">default kernel, initrd: &quot;emerge aa-kernel initrd&quot;</p>
133 </li>
134 <li><p class="first">default kernel, bootsplash initrd: &quot;USE=bootsplash emerge mm-kernel initrd&quot;</p>
135 </li>
136 <li><dl class="first">
137 <dt>non-default kernel, no initrd: &quot;kernel-config gentoo-dev-kernel&quot;</dt>
138 <dd><p class="first last">&quot;emerge gentoo-dev-kernel&quot;</p>
139 </dd>
140 </dl>
141 </li>
142 <li><dl class="first">
143 <dt>non-default kernel, initrd: &quot;kernel-config alpha-kernel&quot;</dt>
144 <dd><p class="first last">&quot;emerge alpha-kernel initrd&quot;</p>
145 </dd>
146 </dl>
147 </li>
148 <li><p class="first">JUST sources, no binary &quot;USE=-buildkernel emerge grsec-kernel&quot;</p>
149 </li>
150 </ol>
151 </blockquote>
152 </div>
153 <div class="section" id="rationale">
154 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id5" name="rationale">Rationale</a></h1>
155 <p>There are many advantages gained by this method:</p>
156 <blockquote>
157 <ol class="arabic simple">
158 <li>Full arch support (GentooInstaller really could use this)</li>
159 <li>More consistent with the rest of portage (installs binaries by building from source)</li>
160 <li>Better user experience</li>
161 <li>More flexability (genkernel forces building of initrd on x86)</li>
162 <li>Don't have to store full kernel sources (each source tree is ~200MB unpacked)</li>
163 <li>Creates the ability to make binary kernel packages for fast installs (think GRP kernel)</li>
164 <li>A seperate package for &quot;generic&quot; kernel config files gives us better version tracking</li>
165 </ol>
166 </blockquote>
167 <p>The major problem is, however, that we currently have two different build systems,
168 portage and genkernel. Having competing build systems is not a GoodThing TM. Therefore,
169 we can either make portage build kernels or we can make genkernel build everything else.</p>
170 </div>
171 <div class="section" id="backwards-compatibility">
172 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id6" name="backwards-compatibility">Backwards Compatibility</a></h1>
173 <p>If you want to emerge kernel sources the old way, just do: USE=&quot;-buildkernel&quot; emerge kernel-name</p>
174 <p>Perhaps we could also name the new kernel-config program (from Stage 1) &quot;genkernel&quot; so that users
175 can have a seemless transition.</p>
176 </div>
177 <div class="section" id="reference-implementation">
178 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id7" name="reference-implementation">Reference Implementation</a></h1>
179 <p>not yet ..</p>
180 </div>
181 <div class="section" id="copyright">
182 <h1><a class="toc-backref" href="#id8" name="copyright">Copyright</a></h1>
183 <p>This document has been placed in the public domain.</p>
184 </div>
185 </div>
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