Maintenance policies and early considerations IV

Agustin Benito Bethencourt <agustin.benito@...>


at CIP we need to have a clear view of what "Support" means in the context of the Super Long Term Support kernel.

++ What kind of support will CIP provide? To whom?

CIP will support its members and their developers, not system administrators or end users. With the current number of members, there should not be a need for a 'first line' of support between them and the CIP core developers, though that may change if membership grows significantly.

Commercial Linux based distributions like RHEL promise that a subset of the kernel module API and ABI remains stable within a major release, so that many out-of-tree modules can be used without needing to update the module source or binaries along with the kernel. Some IHVs rely on this to distribute driver modules in binary form.

CIP should avoid making any such promise because:

* Upstream fixes frequently change the kernel module API and/or ABI and backporting them in a way that does not is difficult and risky - CIP users set their own kernel configurations, so there will not be a single kernel ABI for IHVs to target anyway

* CIP users are responsible for binary releases of both the kernel and out-of-tree modules, so can ensure that they are properly synchronised.

* The criteria for backporting bug fixes will presumably be based on 'stable-kernel-rules.txt'. However, In CIP context, it is recommended to be more precise than that.

Best Regards

Agustin Benito Bethencourt
Principal Consultant - FOSS at Codethink

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