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Packaging Kernel-modules for Fedora

There exist some special rules for getting kernel-modules included in Fedora.


  • Verify that there is an acceptable license for a kernel-module by asking on fedora-devel-list.
  • A kernel-module should be merged into the upstream kernel.
  • Open a review bug in bugzilla with an explanation from the maintainer of the kernel-module why it is not yet merged with the mainline kernel and a planned merge date.
  • Send FESCo an email asking for permission to allow the module in Fedora. FESCo will investigate and vote if the kernel-module is suitable for Fedora.
  • While anyone can review a kernel-module package, once it is set to APPROVED by the reviewer, a Fedora Sponsor or someone experienced with kernel modules should examine the package and post an additional approval notice before it is imported into CVS.

How to package kernel-modules

The actual layout for packaging kernel-modules is described in the packaging guidelines for kernel modules . Those guidelines of course have to be followed for Fedora.

Note: As licensing issues are often the reason why kernel-modules are not included in the upstream-kernel so it might be wise asking on fedora-devel-list if a certain module is okay for Fedora before you actually start packaging it.

Special rules

Fedora wants to encourage kernel-module authors to get their stuff merged into the upstream kernel because we believe that is better for everyone -- a special page describes the reasons behind this position in depth. Therefore, we have set up the process outlined below.

Open a review bug in and add a publishable explanation *from the maintainer(s)* of the kernel-module why it is not yet merged with the mainline kernel and when it is planned to be merged. You, of course, can ask the author to explain it directly in the bug report.

After that, send a FESCo a mail via fesco-chair<AT>fedoraproject<DOT>org and ask for permission if this module is allowed in Fedora. FESCo will look at this information at the next meeting (those are normally every Thursday) and will vote if the kernel module is suitable for Fedora. If not, it will explain the reasons in the bug report for further discussion.

For example, ndiswrapper is not suitable for Fedora -- yes, it is GPLed software, but it taints the kernel and most windows drivers won't work in the Fedora Kernel anyway due to 4K Stacks. Modules that have no intention to get merged upstream will also have a hard time to get allowed for Fedora.

There is also a special review rule until more people get familiar with kernel-modules: Everyone can review kernel-module packages, but after it is set to APPROVED by the reviewer a Fedora Sponsor or someone experienced with kernel modules has to take a *quick* look at the package and post an additional approved notice before it is allowed to import the package into CVS.