[Slackbuilds-users] RFC: "driver" category for kernel modules/drivers

King Beowulf kingbeowulf at gmail.com
Wed Jul 29 18:27:30 UTC 2015

On 07/29/2015 02:11 AM, David Spencer wrote:
> The usual answer to this question when it regularly crops up (e.g.
> gis, fonts) is: does it matter if people can find what they are
> looking for?
> Let's supplement Ed's pool of evidence. What is a driver? In the
> strict technical sense, drivers are kernel modules, and the SBo built
> packages usually (== really should) append the kernel version to the
> package version. eg.
> nvidia-legacy96-kernel-96.43.23_3.10.17-x86_64-1_SBo
> By that criterion, the drivers in the repo are
> misc/klibc [false positive, but should this be libraries/?]
> network/broadcom-sta
> network/ndiswrapper-kernel
> system/lirc
> system/nvidia-kernel
> system/nvidia-legacy*-kernel
> system/spl-solaris
> system/tp_smapi
> system/vhba-module
> system/virtualbox-kernel
> system/virtualbox-kernel-addons
> system/zfs-on-linux
> We should really add in userspace components (audio/oss,
> system/rng-tools, system/nvidia*-driver etc). They are all in system/
> except the ones that have good excuses to be elsewhere (audio/ and
> network/). That is quite a different list from Ed's -- which exposes
> the limitations of tagging.

In my mind, there needs to be a category index for software that exposes
hardware capabilities to userspace, but with which the user does not
interact directly and only through other software.  Thus, video, sound,
printer, and network drivers and support files and the like.

Let's take an example:  Nvidia.

1. two kernel modules: nvidia, nvidia-uvm
2. xorg nvidia driver that access kernel modules
3. userland utilities to adjust or access nvidia OpenGL settings, etc

Lumping Nvidia into the same category as qemu doesn't make much sense.
Likewise, lumping broadcom-sta into network with putty and ntop is also

In the case of Nvidia, we could end up with something like

nvidia-driver    DRIVER or HARDWARE
nvidia-kernel    DRIVER or HARDWARE
nvidia-utilities SYSTEM

What I am tying to get at is this: How does a user find the software he
needs when he can't think of the name or a tag?

www.slackbuilds.org --> REPOSITORY --> ...

Go to "Network" for network utilities, "System" for system utilities,
etc., and maybe "DRIVERS" or *HARDWARE* to find hardware support not
already in the kernel.


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