[CentOS-devel] Balancing the needs around the RHEL platform

Mon Dec 28 12:25:41 UTC 2020
Alexander Bokovoy <abokovoy at redhat.com>

On ma, 28 joulu 2020, Phil Perry wrote:
>On 28/12/2020 08:02, Alexander Bokovoy wrote:
>>On su, 27 joulu 2020, Gordon Messmer wrote:
>>>On 12/27/20 4:31 PM, Ljubomir Ljubojevic wrote:
>>>>On 12/27/20 5:00 PM, Alexander Bokovoy wrote:
>>>>>I can see two major ways of enabling 3rd-party drivers:
>>>>> - using elrepo's excellent work on kmods to build a CI for CentOS
>>>>>   Stream kernel updates and perhaps block updates based on 
>>>>>CI results'
>>>>>   consensus (not necessary blocked until it 100% green)
>>>>Phil Perry from ElRepo project wrote extensively both on [CentOS] and
>>>>[CentOS-devel] lists why that aproach is not viable.
>>>I might be misreading one party or another, but I believe that 
>>>what is being proposed is better integration of ELRepo's kmod 
>>>packages and CentOS Stream, so that kernel updates aren't 
>>>published until the modules build.  And if it is, then I'm not 
>>>sure why that approach would not be viable.
>>>Neal Gompa wrote: "The correct fix here is to start blocking RHEL 
>>>kernel updates
>>>against third-party Free Software kernel module packages to ensure
>>>compatibility isn't broken and the kernel ABI stops breaking on every
>>>kernel version series. The reason it keeps breaking is because there's
>>>no current mechanism in which these are tested together to validate
>>>them for release."
>>>That seems like an ideal solution.
>>You are getting it right, Gordon, thank you for connecting the threads.
>So if I understand correctly, the proposal is that if a 3rd party 
>(elrepo or OEM) driver does not build against a Stream kernel, you 
>would not release the kernel? That would mean to date there would not 
>be any Stream kernel updates released[1] because _something_ breaks 
>against *all* of them? Or have I misunderstood what is being proposed? 
>That would be a real shame for those folks who would like to test new 
>functionality and/or participate and feed back in the development 

Neal and I suggested to be able to use the content (source) of elrepo
drivers to be a CI test for CentOS Stream kernel updates. That might be
non-blocking, might be blocking if X% of packages fail, might be
blocking in 'rings of importance' and so on, it is not needed to be
black and white.

>And when the above situation arises (an elrepo or OEM driver fails to 
>build and/or weak-link against a Stream kernel), what would be the 
>process to fix that? Elrepo drivers are developed against and built 
>for RHEL kernels, so when they fail to build for Stream, that won't 
>get fixed for upto 6 months until the next RHEL point release. Or to 
>put it another way, elrepo is a downstream project, downstream of 

If Elrepo drivers have actual developers, getting 6 months advance
notification of their driver's failures against upcoming RHEL could be
valuable to plan and fix the issues in due time.

/ Alexander Bokovoy
Sr. Principal Software Engineer
Security / Identity Management Engineering
Red Hat Limited, Finland