[Pkg-dkms-maint] Bug#554843: dkms is for building. Packages should only use dkms when needed.

Drew Scott Daniels ddaniels at umalumni.mb.ca
Sat Feb 20 16:32:42 UTC 2010

dkms is for building so shouldn't this bug be closed? If not, I'd like to
hear a specific example of a driver.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but shouldn't this instead be a bug against
drivers in Debian that use dkms instead of requiring a new package be
created in the archive for each relevant kernel release. With pre-compiled
modules there should be separate packages per architecture too. I seem to
recall that Debian used to update all the main kernel modules with a
relevant kernel update (though this is painful for the security and stable
release teams).

I guess non-free drivers need more support since some in Security said
they don't support non-free, but that could be a wont-fix for those
drivers if the maintainers decide they need dkms in order to support

dkms seems most useful for third party modules from organizations like
hardware vendors who don't yet have in-tree or in-archive drivers and
can't support binaries for all the relevant kernels in distributions that
have dkms.

Alternately, maybe the bug is a request for dkms to be an
install/pre-install time requirement, but removable either by making sure
it's just "recommends" for drivers, or through drivers being released as
"-source" style packages that create an installation. Still, this seems
like a bug for the dkms depending kernel module/driver packages. If this
is the case, then maybe people want dkms installed in such a way that it
doesn't autobuild on reboot, but I guess that's the same argument as
services that provide tools, or that services shouldn't autostart (but
they do).

If dkms is required for drivers, then packages like gcc will become pseudo
required again which was considered a bug with security implications.


     Drew Daniels
Resume: http://www.boxheap.net/ddaniels/resume.html

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