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Re: Requiring Linux 3.2 for glibc 2.24

On Mon, 1 Feb 2016, Dmitry V. Levin wrote:

> That discussion shows that there is no consensus of not supporting kernels
> not maintained at, and rightly so, because other stable kernels
> maintained by providers are widely in use.

That something is in wide use does not mean it's relevant (a) as a 
platform for developing glibc itself, or (b) as a platform for running 
GNU/Linux distributions much more recent than the kernel in question.  
(For (b), we're not even talking August 2016, but some time after that 
once glibc 2.24 has found its way into distributions.)

> There are no doubts that raising minimal kernel version to a value greater
> than 2.6.32 on x86/x86_64 will make openvz users unhappy, forcing them
> to use unstable kernels.

Or to use distributions that aren't quite so far ahead of the underlying 
hosting platform, until support for newer kernels is available there.

I'd expect running new distributions on an old kernel to become 
increasingly problematic over time, just like running any new software on 
old distributions is; when the software vintages involved differ by more 
than a few years, you get problems.

Now, you could require 3.2 everywhere except x86/x86_64 (and maybe require 
3.2 headers everywhere), and get some cleanup from removing various 
architecture-specific conditionals, but I'm not convinced that running a 
distribution from late 2016 or later on a kernel series first released in 
December 2009 is a realistic expectation for us to support.

Joseph S. Myers

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