Please check the status of this specification in Launchpad before editing it. If it is Approved, contact the Assignee or another knowledgeable person before making changes.


We need a method for providing backported drivers for stable releases. This spec describes the method that will be used to do this.


Adding drivers to the kernel in a stable release is too much overhead and risk. We need a way to do this without jeopardizing the stability of existing installs.

Use cases

  • Shining Star buys a new wireless PCI-E card from her local CompUSA, and finds that it doesn't work with her existing 6.06 LTS system. She uses her preferred package management UI, and installs the driver-backport package to get the card working.
  • Morning Sun upgrades his motherboard to a new MondoCore3000, keeping his existing harddrive. He installs the driver-backport package to make sure everything will operate once he makes the transition.


The new package will be built very much like linux-restricted-modules. Linux-meta will contain shortened meta packages to make installation, and upgrade syncing easier.


A new package will be created, linux-backports-modules. This will need to be kept in sync with the latest kernel.

Unresolved issues

One thing I'm unsure of is that this package isn't going to get pulled in automatically. People are going to have to choose it.

modprobe has no means of preferring one module over another when they match the same PCI ID. We need to modify it in some way as to allow for this override. Probably relates to driver-device-manager spec.

  • ColinWatson: modules installed under /lib/modules/VERSION/updates will be preferred

    BenCollins: We should install the modules under /lib/modules/VERSION/updates/linux-backports-modules to prevent name collisions. The updates directory will be used by ubiquity-driver-updates too.


Ubiquity/DriverBackports (last edited 2008-08-06 16:28:27 by localhost)