[OpenAFS] RHEL5 kmod packages require explicit kernel version?

jdreed@MIT.EDU jdreed@MIT.EDU
Mon, 05 Nov 2007 12:54:30 -0500

I've been experimenting with the RHEL5 yum repository, and came across the
following unfortunatel situation:

If you attempt to install openafs-client, and a kmod package does not exist for
your kernel version, it will attempt to install a kernel for which it has a
supported kmod.  This is a fine assumption if your current kernel is older than
the one the kmod requires, but not if it's newer.  Attempting to install
openafs-client on a machine running 2.6.18-8.1.15 fails, since yum won't let
you install an older kernel.

[root@arr-heck jdreed]# yum install openafs-client
 Package                 Arch       Version          Repository        Size
 openafs-client          x86_64     1.4.5-el5.1      openafs           613 k
 kernel                  x86_64     2.6.18-8.el5     installed          72 M
Installing for dependencies:
 kernel                  x86_64     2.6.18-8.1.14.el5  rhel-x86_64-client-5   14
 kmod-openafs            x86_64     1.4.5-  openafs          
270 k


Transaction Check Error:   package kernel-2.6.18-8.1.15.el5 (which is newer than
kernel-2.6.18-8.1.14.el5) is already installed

I realize that the workaround is probably to install openafs-kernel-source,
which seems to satisfy the requirements of openafs-client, but is it necessary
for the kmod packages to require a kernel version?  While it's true that the
kmod won't work in other kernel versions, since it installs in a separate
directory, it seems like it would be better to drop the explicit requirement to
avoid failure modes like this one.  Presumably there will always be some skew
between when Redhat releases a new kernel and when openafs releases the kmod
for it, but I can also see the case for enforcing requirements to prevent users
from thinking they have installed a working kmod when they haven't.