Binary Updates for DragonFly

Simon 'corecode' Schubert corecode at
Sun Dec 16 05:42:46 PST 2007

Matthias Schmidt wrote:
>> I wonder, why bother with binary patches?  Network is cheap nowadays, so
>> we could as well distribute complete binaries.
> Thats right, but I'm a fan of saving disk space and bandwith.  Distributing
> complete binaries has one big advantage.  We could update user-modified
> binary files which is not easily possible with diff/pach.

Yes.  Both ways don't necessarily exclude each other, assuming that
mirrors have enough space (they do, usually).

>>> I think most
>>> server admins also stick with the GENERIC kernel (at least I do it), so
>>> support for GENERIC would IMO be enough.
>> As soon as you compile stuff, you probably will get different binaries.
>> If you update the kernel, you need to update the userland as well.
> Yep, that's what the problem is about.

A combined source/binary approach then could realize that there is a
need to recompile the kernel and do so, in case the config was changed.
 If not, a replacement kernel can be installed.  Same for userland binaries.

>> If we had a way to identify from which sources a binary was compiled
>> from, we could do upgrades more easily.  Maybe enhance gcc to include a
>> checksum of the sources into the object?
> Do you mean with or without patching?

That would be without patching.  A way to find out which sources a
particular binary corresponds to, and if these sources are the same like
the ones being upgraded, you can replace the (different) binary with a
fixed replacement.

>> In any case, when doing a binary upgrade, we should at the same update
>> the sources, if installed.
> Why?  Most admins don't even have sources installed.  If someone wants
> only a (security) fix I think its sufficent to update only the relevant
> files.

Yes, I meant:  If there are sources, these should be updated at the same
time, so that source compiles will contain the fix as well.

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