Server product kernel requirements

Josh Boyer jwboyer at
Wed Oct 30 17:09:18 UTC 2013

On Wed, Oct 30, 2013 at 11:12 AM, Stephen Gallagher <sgallagh at> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> On 10/30/2013 11:10 AM, Simo Sorce wrote:
>> On Wed, 2013-10-30 at 10:16 -0400, Josh Boyer wrote:
>>> [ Resend with the right server mailing list address.  Sorry
>>> kernel@ people.]
>>> Hi All,
>>> I realize the WG is just forming up and you have a lot of other
>>> items to cover for now, but I wanted to get this sent out and
>>> have people start thinking about it sooner rather than later.
>>> The kernel team is interested in what the Server WG sees as its
>>> requirements for the kernel package.  Does today's kernel image
>>> mostly suit those needs already, or are there changes that would
>>> be beneficial?
>>> While you think about this, please keep in mind that the kernel
>>> team really wants to keep a single kernel package across all 3
>>> products as much as possible.  We won't scale to providing
>>> multiple kernel packages or vmlinux binaries for each product.
>>> At the moment, we're essentially looking for a good "core" kernel
>>> package that suits cloud, server, and workstation and then at
>>> repackaging the drivers into subpackages where appropriate.
>>> If you have changes you'd like to see, please let us know what
>>> they are and the reasoning behind those changes.  Hopefully we
>>> can work with all 3 WGs and come up with something suitable for
>>> everyone. Thanks for your time.
>> Personally I think that as long as the kernel is modular and all
>> useful modules are available, the Server WG should not have trouble
>> with it.
>> I guess the installation procedure (hence Anaconda) need to be
>> somewhat customizable so that the server image is by default a lot
>> friendlier to the type of hardware a server gets to use, and the
>> kind of defaults that make more sense for a server vs say desktop
>> or cloud.
>> But I think all this can be built easily above a common kernel.
> I agree as well. A common kernel is paramount.

OK, good.  To be fair, I didn't think there would be many requirements
from the Server WG.  Most of the packaging changes will likely be
driven by the Cloud WG.  At the moment, it shouldn't be difficult for
Server to install both the small base kernel package and the larger
kernel-drivers subpackage (for example).

At the same time, it would be good to look over what the current
kernel is providing and see if you notice any glaring omissions in
either drivers or settings.  Or at the very least, perhaps define what
kind of machines you will be targeting with the Server WG spin.
Massive 4096 multi-cored CPU machines with terabytes of DRAM and
petabytes of storage, or more commodity style hardware used in
heterogeneous environments, etc.  Hopefully the impacts to the kernel
there will be minimal, but it would help us understand what you're
shooting for so we can keep it in mind.


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