Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1839 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] latest kernel update breaks ATI binary driver
  • From: Jeff Mahoney <jeffm@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 12:07:34 -0400
  • Message-id: <4C9CCCC6.9090303@xxxxxxxx>
On 09/23/2010 09:27 PM, Andrew Joakimsen wrote:
On Thu, Sep 23, 2010 at 17:39, Vadym Krevs<vkrevs@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 23/09/10 22:18, Anders Johansson wrote:

On Thursday 23 September 2010, Vadym Krevs wrote:

Hi all,

just a heads up. If you use the ATI binary driver, and install the
latest kernel update (, then you will no longer be able to
recompile the ATI driver due to missing compat_alloc_user_space() symbol
in fglrx/kcl_ioctl.c.

According to,
the "compat_alloc_user_space()" symbol became GPL-only, got moved to
another header, etc.

Personally, I find it unbelievable that openSUSE kernel team would
release a minor kernel upgrade that would screw up all users of the ATI
binary driver.

I don't think there was much of a choice, since upstream decided to
the new function "GPl only". Distributions can change things in open
code, but as far as I know only BSD style licenses allow relicensing.

FYI there is a patch for the ATI driver


IMHO, this could have been handled differently. E.g., the updated kernel
could have been released once an updated ATI driver was available.

As to a patch - well, it is easy to find and apply, if you're a software
engineer like myself. What about the average Joe user ... So much for the
strategy statement: "The target users of the openSUSE distribution are
people who need to get work done and want something *stable* and usable for
their every day needs."

So why are these shenanigans from upstream allowed into openSUSE? Why
not disable the useless GPL only code in the Kernel as it serves no
real technical purpose, it adds nothing but bloat to the Kernel. What
ever happened to "free as in freedom?"

It serves no purpose other than to fix a widely exploitable root hole.

We have tests in place to ensure that the kABI doesn't change between releases, and it hasn't. The API has and that had unforseen consequences. As other people have noted, getting a quick fix out for a root exploit trumps ensuring that a proprietary driver still builds. And the module built against the last kernel still works, but still has the exploit. We chose to keep the change rather than work around it since ATI had already developed a fix (and they had to, since the upstream commit wasn't going to change to accommodate them).


Jeff Mahoney
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