[CentOS-devel] possibility of an extra-hardware-support SIG

Wed Sep 5 13:46:37 UTC 2007
Phil Schaffner <Philip.R.Schaffner at NASA.gov>

On Wed, 2007-09-05 at 13:38 +0100, Karanbir Singh wrote:
> Hi guys,
> I have been thinking about starting something that brings in extra Hardware 
> compatibility and drivers to the stock centos kernel. Perhaps doing this as a 
> SIG might be a good idea.
> The aim would be ( but not limited to ):
> - Find and coordinate the efforts by various hardware vendors to support CentOS
> - Publish a comprehensive ( as much as possible ) install time DriverDisk ( both 
> as an .img and .iso )
> - Create, test and publish a mechanism to follow kernel updates ( might need 
> someone to actually have access to some of this hardware, but it should be 
> manageable specially if we can get the attention of hardware vendors ).
> - Create a feedback-loop that makes it easy for users to request drivers / 
> functionality in the stock and plus kernels. How we deliver on this is perhaps a 
> discussion in itself, and something we can consider when we come to it.

Seems that kernels/drivers/modules diverging from the upstream would
need to be in [a] separate repo[s], something like Johnny's 100Hz

> - Bring together into 1 place all the various opensource drivers being published 
> by Vendors ( 3ware, areca, tyan, supermicro etc ) for newer versions of their 
> products that are not in the upstream version as yet. This might mean setting up 
> an ftp location somewhere (?)

Could get sticky, depending on license issues.  Why not just maintain a
set of links to the latest sources from the vendors?

> - I would also not mind looking at the very dark grey area of providing updated 
> drivers for some components ( like the recent bcm and marvell ethernet drivers 
> that really do need updating in the upstream kernel ) - but this again depends 
> on how people feel about it - in lots of cases, we might end up step into and 
> through a redhat patch.
> Now, what does everyone else think ? If I start this, is it going to be only me 
> there or is someone else going to come along for the ride as well ?

Overall, your objectives sound great.  The dark-gray territory would be
a challenge, but seems like good CentOS value-added if done carefully,
with appropriate caveats, and (obviously) kept outside the core repos.
Just not sure what the advantage of a SIG is over keeping it on
centos-devel.  Please elaborate.