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Driver Process Terminology

Overview

This page provides definitions for terms used throughout the Partner Linux Driver Process Documentation.

Definitions

Add-on Product

The preferred software delivery format to use when providing software for a SLES system. An Add-on Product integrates with the SLE YaST/ZLM system management and online update management. The Add-on product can be automatically recognized by SLE, will ask for license acceptance if necessary, and will automatically register later online updates for itself. For detailed information on how to create Add-ons, please see Creating Add-Ons.

Driver Kit

The core component/deliverable of the Driver Process. A driver kit comprises the elements needed to install specific drivers and automatically update those drivers as necessary for newer kernels. Novell provides driver kits to partners. Partners then provide the kits (w/ modifications as necessary) to their customers.

When Novell provides a driver kit to a partner, it will include:

  • iso image of a combined DUD/Add-on Product containing the drivers in the kit. The drivers in the DUD/Add-on Product are built for a specific kernel (e.g., SLES 10 first customer ship). The add-on product is configured to register the end-user's system for the pre-established online update site.
  • online Add-on Product containing the drivers in the kit. The drivers in the online add-on product are built for a specific kernel (e.g., SLES 10 first customer ship). The add-on product is configured to register the end-user's system for the pre-established online update site.
  • online update site containing patches for updated versions of drivers in the kit.

Note: The online add-on product and online update site are password protected until the partner verifies the kit.

After receiving a driver kit from Novell, a partner will generally:

  • test the driver kit (DUD/Add-on Product, online add-on product, and online update site)
  • add any desired user documentation
  • place the DUD/Add-on Product on any desired installation media (CD, etc.)
  • request Novell to publicly-enable (remove the password on) the online add-on product and online update site.
  • publish information about where to find the driver kit and how to install it.

For more information, please see Requesting Driver-level Product Enablement.

Driver Update Disk (DUD)

Precursor of the add-on product: a disk used during the SLE installation to provide drivers that are not on the SLE installation media. The SLE 10 installation prompts for add-on products very early in the installation process, so most drivers can now be provided via add-on products. In the case where a driver is needed to boot the installation media, a DUD will still be required. For more information, please see Creating a Driver Update Disk (DUD).

Kernel Application Binary Interface (kABI)

The set of binary symbols exported by the kernel for use by drivers and other kernel modules. When a driver or kernel module is built, it is linked against the kABI symbols of a specific kernel version. If a new kernel provides different versions of these symbols, the driver or kernel module will need to be rebuilt in order to work with the new kernel. Since SLES9 SP3, the kABI for SUSE Linux Enterprise products has changed only with service packs. The kernel source tree contains the kernel community's view on why the kernel API (and thus ABI) needs to be flexible. This document is also available as the file /usr/src/linux/Documentation/stable_api_nonsense.txt, installed as part of the kernel-source.rpm.

Kernel Module Package (KMP)

An rpm which contains a driver (or multiple related drivers). Driver kits contain one or more KMPs. KMPs for SLES 9 should be built as detailed in Kernel Module Packages Manual for Code 9, and KMPs for SLES 10 should be built as detailed in Kernel Module Packages Manual for Code 10.

Online Update Site

An http or ftp site recognizable by YaST as an installation/update source. For the purpose of the Driver Process, an online update site hosts driver updates. An online update site is a specifically laid out directory structure with specific helper files. It can be copied inside a firewall or even to the local file system, so that updates can be provided to systems without Internet access. For more information how to create an update site, please see Creating an Online Update Site.

SLES10 Partner Update Site

A partner update site built as detailed on [Creating_an_Online_Update_Site] and used to provide updated partner drivers to SLES 10 (not SLES 10 SP1) customers.

SLES10-SP1 Partner Update Site

A partner update site built as detailed on [Creating_an_Online_Update_Site] and used to provide updated partner drivers to SLES 10 SP1 customers.

 

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