Re: Building and selecting multiple kernel versions

Quentin Schulz

Hi Ryan,

On Tue, Feb 04, 2020 at 04:00:01PM +0000, Ryan Harkin wrote:
Hi Quentin,

Thanks for your reply.

On Tue, 4 Feb 2020 at 08:51, Quentin Schulz <> wrote:

Hi Ryan,

On Mon, Feb 03, 2020 at 05:34:23PM +0000, Ryan Harkin wrote:
Hello all,

I'm looking for advice on how to support multiple kernel versions in my
distro with minimal changes, and minimal disruption to my users.

Some background:

I have a legacy Sumo based distro with an image config, and a machine
config, with the machine using a 4.9 kernel. Last year, I upgraded
everything to Warrior, and moved to a 4.19 kernel.

Some of my users who are migrating from Sumo, wish to keep their 4.9
kernel. So I'm trying to work out how to handle this in the simplest way.

I know that I can add a 4.9 recipes to my Warrior branches, set
PREFERRED_VERSION in my distro.conf. But I don't want to change the
preferred version globally. And I don't really want users to update the
distro.conf. Ideally, they should be able to take what I give them and
"just" build it to get a 4.9 or 4.19 variant.
You can make two machine configuration files. One with
PREFERRED_VERSION_virtual/kernel = "4.9%" and the other with 4.19.

They pick the correct machine when building, they should expect the
correct kernel in output. Only applies to images built for this machine
so I guess that's what you're looking for?
Yes, this works.

Trying it showed a few small problems. Eg. I have a package that only builds
for the 4.19 kernel, and needs to be excluded for 4.9. That's something I
handle in the recipes using the machine type, of course.
It depends on what exactly does this recipe represent? A kernel module?
In which case, you can put it in your machine configuration file under

We have a way to specify runtime dependencies on specific versions:

I unfortunately have no idea if Yocto supports such a thing in DEPENDS.

Ideally, I don't want to *have* to build both kernels and then create two
images. I expect that will cause confusion and lead to people flashing
wrong images. So I'd prefer it to be either/or. Of course, I have to test
all of this, so I want to be able to build both variants in CI, which
editing distro.conf even more unattractive.
Same image (POV of bitbake <image>) but different machines, does that
match your requirements?

FWIW, you can pass MACHINE= to the command line just before bitbake
<image> making it rather obvious which machine they pick.
Incidentally, that didn't work for me, but that's a symptom of how we setup
the environment, where local.conf sets MACHINE. I changed it to "MACHINE ?=
thinking it would let me override it via the shell. But it didn't. Strange,
but not a
big problem.
To check who's setting it, run `bitbake <somesimplerecipe> -e | less` and look
for the line starting with MACHINE=. Then you have the whole bitbake
logic to set it above that line. That could help you find out what's


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