Kernel module package guidelines
Kernel Module Package Guidelines
Packages that contain kernel modules should be treated specially, to support users who wish to have more than one kernel installed on a system.
When packaging software containing a kernel module and other non-module supporting files/utilities, it is important to separate the kernel modules from the supporting files.
When packaging such software (using the NVidia drivers as an example) the convention is:
- create an nvidia package containing just the kernel modules built for the vanilla kernel
- create an nvidia-utils package containing the accompanying files
- make sure nvidia depends on nvidia-utils
- for another kernel like kernel26-mm, create nvidia-mm containing the kernel modules built against that kernel which provides nvidia and also depends on nvidia-utils
This structure allows others to easily create module packages for various kernels that can all coexist on a single installed system.
The key factor being navigated is that, while kernel modules built for different kernels always live in different directories and can peacefully coexist, the accompanying files are expected to live in one location. If one package contained all the files, you would be unable to install the modules for more than one kernel because the accompanying files in the packages would have file conflicts.
This separation of modules and accompanying files allows multiple kernel module packages to be installed for multiple kernels on the same system while sharing the utilities among them.