[lsb-discuss] Using lsb_release for other purposes

Dan Kohn dan at dankohn.com
Mon Apr 7 09:52:04 PDT 2008

Yes, I think this is worth doing. .

On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 8:11 AM, Wichmann, Mats D
<mats.d.wichmann at intel.com> wrote:
>  Had a query on IRC that I wanted to forward here for
>  wider discussion.
>  Could lsb_release be used for more than indicating
>  LSB dependencies?  For those who aren't that familiar,
>  lsb_release is a long-standing tool which allows shell
>  queries about the LSB conformance of a system, as well
>  as information about the underlying distro (should it
>  choose to provide it).  The LSB information is
>  standardized, the distro information less so.
>  For example, on one system I have:
>  LSB Version:
>  core-3.1-ia32:core-3.1-noarch:graphics-3.1-ia32:graphics-3.1-noarch
>  Distributor ID: Fedora
>  Description:  Fedora release 8.92 (Rawhide)
>  Release: 8.92
>  Codename: Rawhide
>  Now it turns out that to allow for the concept of modules
>  that may or may not be present on a system, we ended up
>  defining in the sample implementation of lsb_release
>  a directory /etc/lsb-release.d (this directory is not in
>  the LSB specification, at the moment it's an implementation
>  detail of our sample).  In this directory, if a filename
>  appears, it's reported by the lsb_release command.  In
>  the example system I alluded to above, the four fields
>  reported by "LSB Version" each appear as a filename in
>  this directory.  The files have no contents.  The idea
>  here was that the dependency package that provides the
>  module could drop an empty file in this directory and that
>  makes it available to be reported by lsb_release.
>  Now to the question - I guess there's an interest in
>  reporting on the presence of functionality sets roughly
>  equivalent to LSB modules on top of the LSB platform.
>  If these functionality sets are expressed through the
>  package manager that's fine at install time, but otherwise
>  we have no defined mechanism for querying - the LSB
>  does not require any way to query the package manager
>  at runtime for what it has installed.
>  Would it be a good idea to allow the extension of the
>  lsb_release machanism for developers to express the
>  presence of functionality as described above?  The LSB
>  specification impact would be that we'd have to enshrine
>  either /etc/lsb-release.d or an equivalent directory that
>  packages can write into, and enforce some namespace
>  rules on the contents of the directory; as well as
>  extending the number of fields reported back by the
>  lsb_release command itself.
>  (I hope I've expressed this request accurately, if not
>  hopefully the original requstor will update the
>  information here).
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Dan Kohn <mailto:dan at dankohn.com>
COO, The Linux Foundation <http://www.linux-foundation.org>
<http://www.dankohn.com/> <tel:+1-415-233-1000>

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