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Evalaute usage of linux-backports-modules by ourselves and vendors, keeping in mind our original intentions for the package.

Original spec:

Release Note



After usage of linux-backports-modules in feisty and gutsy, it is not apparent if we are using it the way it was intended. In addition, the naming and potential affects for release-to-release upgrades needs to be evaluated.

linux-backports-modules is used to provide support for hardware in the following cases:

  1. Drivers that have not yet made it upstream or were not sufficiently functional to be included in the initial release.
  2. Drivers with new features or bug fixes that supersede existing drivers, but which might potentially cause regressions.
  3. Alternate drivers for hardware that is supported in the kernel or linux-ubuntu-modules., e.g., lbm drivers will supersede existing kernel or lum drivers.

Use Cases

In the Gutsy release the rt2x00 softmac drivers were upstream in the kernel. However, many users found them to be quite buggy. The legacy drivers, though monolithic fullmac drivers, were at least functional. This is a case where the legacy drivers could be provided in lbm.

ALSA is continuously updated to support new hardware. Gutsy was released with ALSA 1.0.14 because 1.0.15 was still in the RC stage. Subsequently, many users found that 1.0.15 solved their audio issues. However, the differences from 1.0.14 to 1.0.15 were substantial and carried a high risk of regression. lbm is a good place to offer an optional upgrade.


  • linux-backports-modules is an empty package at the beginning of the release cycle.
  • The above point assumes that we support drivers and features from the previous release linux-backports-modules in stock kernel packages within the current release. No hardware support regressions.


Append the name of the release to lbm's meta packages (in linux-meta).


linux-ubuntu-modules is dependent on a specific kernel ABI release package (as usual).

Test/Demo Plan

Just do it.

Outstanding Issues

Packages that require kernel modifications cannot be back ported.

BoF agenda and discussion

CategorySpec CategoryKernel

RevisitBackportsModulesSpec (last edited 2008-08-06 16:32:42 by localhost)