Bump ABI

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ronsmeyer
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Bump ABI

Post by ronsmeyer »

There are dozens of kernel updates with nothing in the changelog but "Bump ABI". What does "Bump ABI" mean?
rene
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Re: Bump ABI

Post by rene »

ABI is short for Application Binary Interface, and the in this case referred to interface is the kernel's module interface: the combined "signatures" (i.e., hashes of argument types and return values) of the by the kernel for use by modules exported functions is what makes up said ABI in this context. That is, although kernel modules delivered along with the kernel itself will have been updated to deal with a change in by the kernel-proper exported functionality, externally built modules such as e.g. Nvidia's would fail unless prepared for the change. Increasing ("bumping") the ABI identifier, the 44 in 4.15.0-44-generic, makes an unprepared kernel module fail to even load, rather than fail in mysterious ways.
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