Clarification of loadable drivers

Jono Bacon jono at
Wed Jun 30 09:06:18 PDT 2004

Hi all,

I know you are probably all at GUADEC, but I wanted to pose a question 
to the list.

With regards to the Driver On Demand project that has been discussed 
recently and the network centric .fdi file respository, I wanted to see 
how reasonable it was in theory to load a driver on demand. A few questions:

  - Am I right in thinking that someone could take a stock 2.6.x kernel 
and compile a module, then take that module and put it on another system 
with a 2.6.x kernel and it would work?

  - Would a module for 2.6.x work with any other minor revision of 2.6.x?

  - Do different compiled kernels for different distros (such as the 
RedHat kernel, Debian kernel etc) allow you to take modules and use them 
on any kernel of the same version?

It strikes me that if we are going to face issues allowing modules from 
different version of 2.6.x to work with each other, this is going to be 
a major stumbling block. I would have thought that 2.6 would preserve 
ABI compatibility across the different minor releases, but I may be 
wrong, hence the question. :P

If we can intermingle different 2.6.x modules across minor releases, we 
then face the challenge of modules compiled for different distro cases.

I just want to clarify how much of this is possible at the moment. I 
know Andrew has written a working system with Driver On Demand, but I 
want to clarify what the situation is regarding compatability with 
kernel modules so I can better justify where we are at.



Jono Bacon -
Writer / Journalist / Consultant / Developer

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