Why I won’t support a 3.1 kernel

Copied from my Raspberry Pi kernel page:

One of the reasons I’m really pushing at a 3.2 kernel for the base image of the Raspberry Pi (until we get the architecture code rewritten for a mainline merge, another effort I’m part of) is that 3.1 is no longer an actively supported branch of the kernel and has some nasty security issues, whereas 3.2 is actively supported as it is the basis of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) and will be the kernel used in Debian Wheezy as well.

Please see Issue #2 on the Raspberry Pi kernel tree on GitHub for a fright. Here’s a technical description of the issue, including an exploit (linked from the GitHub issue).

In other words, 3.1.9 has nasty security holes that will come back to bite you. 3.2 is a long-term supported branch and really isn’t a big step to take from 3.1. So please, follow my lead and ditch the official Raspberry Pi 3.1.9 kernel and use something a bit more recent.

This means that I will not support the porting of my SPI and I2C drivers to the official kernel until it moves to 3.2 or a more recent branch. Such an effort would undoubtedly be very simple for whoever decides to undertake it, but it’s not something I am willing to help with. Sorry!

I am, however, most willing to help bring the official kernel to 3.2 or newer. After all, this is what I have already done.

3 thoughts on “Why I won’t support a 3.1 kernel

  1. Sounds reasonable, but what about newer kernels like 3.4 (and the upcoming 3.5)?

    • I’m part of an active effort to get the BCM2835 code into the mainline linux kernel, but this is a lot of work and involves a lot of rewriting of the existing code. It won’t be in mainline for quite some time. It’s really not worth porting the current code onto higher than 3.3 kernels as quite a lot has changed in that version, making a port a lot of work for very little gain.

  2. We already backported them to 3.1.9 🙂 only reason for doing it was the slightly dodgy sdhci stuff in earlier 3.2.x, but now that’s been fixed 3.1.9 is history… Now hurry up and get the 3.5 re-write useable, all we want is sdhci and ethernet/usb at which point 3.2.x is getting ditched too!

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