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Re: A short digression on FOSS (Re: understanding speculative preallocat

To: Keith Keller <kkeller@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: A short digression on FOSS (Re: understanding speculative preallocation)
From: Eric Sandeen <sandeen@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 08:38:38 -0500
Cc: linux-xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
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On 7/28/13 11:57 PM, Keith Keller wrote:
> On 2013-07-29, Eric Sandeen <sandeen@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> In general, no. There are a lot of moving parts that interface with
>> the filesystem - one does not simply drop fs/xfs from, say, kernel
>> 3.2 into a 2.6.32 kernel.
> I apologize for the confusion, this was not what I was implying was
> possible.  Let me try to be more explicit.  Unfortunately, I no longer
> have a history of what I did, because I ultimately abandoned it, so my
> example will be hypothetical.
> The current stable kernel is 3.10.4.  Let's suppose that 3.10.5 comes
> out tomorrow with some interesting patches to fs/xfs.  Is it possible
> using dkms to build the 3.10.5 version of the xfs module for a running
> 3.10.4 kernel?  

"Probably / Maybe"

It really depends on what changed from 3.10.4 to 3.10.5, but odds are,
kernel interfaces did not change, so - probably fine.  If not, you
get to keep all the pieces, etc.

> And if so, is there a way for the module to report its
> own version?

Say it with me: there is no xfs module version.  :)

The "module version" is inherited from the kernel it's built against.

$ modinfo xfs
vermagic:       2.6.32-279.22.1.el6.x86_64 SMP mod_unload modversions 

> There should (in theory) be much less wizardry involved in
> this scenario than in the difficult scenario of porting 3.10's xfs back
> to 2.6, and is more along the lines of what I remember doing a short
> time back).  (To be specific, IIRC what I did was took a proposed patch
> against my running kernel version, which had not yet been incorporated
> in the distro kernel, and tested it by replacing the distro kernel's
> module with one I built via DKMS.  But as I mentioned, I have no docs on
> this, so I could be misremembering the process.)

Yeah, short version hops are more likely to be ok.

And taking kernel version X's xfs, and applying a bugfix patch, and
rebuilding it against the same kernel headers should be fine.  Still
a little wizardry, but not bad for a kernel-savvy person.

> I am not intentionally trying to be difficult.  :)  I am genuinely
> just curious about the answer.  If it's "no" (or perhaps, in this
> specific scenario, it's "use the dkms tools"), it still provides me with
> valuable information I did not previously have.

Sure, I don't think you're being difficult.

The further you go off the reservation, the less tested things are, and
the less likely they are to work.  Building a tweaked, same-era module
against a slightly different kernel is likely to be fine; it's when
you get more & more changed / moving parts that it becomes trickier.

But you need to know enough to know what you're changing and/or what
has changed in the kernel, to know if what you're doing is completely
safe, probably safe, or unlikely to be safe...


> --keith

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