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MODULE-ASSISTANT(8)                                        MODULE-ASSISTANT(8)

       module-assistant - manage kernel modules packages

       module-assistant  [  -fihnqstv  ]  [ -k source/headers directory ] [ -l
       kernel versions ] { update | search | prepare | auto-install |  list  |
       list-available | list-installed | auto-unpacked | get | build | install
       | clean | purge | fakesource } [ pkg ... ]

       module-assistant is the command-line tool  for  handling  module-source
       packages  that have been prepared for the Debian distribution. It helps
       users to build and install module package(s) easily  for  one  or  more
       custom kernels.

       Unless  the  -h,  or  --help option is given, one of the commands below
       should be present to invoke a function explicitely. If no (or no valid)
       command is specified and the dialog tool is available, a simple graphi-
       cal user interface will pop up and guide you trough the available func-

       NOTE:  don't  even  think  about  using some random kernel-source-x.y.z
       package contents (or linux-x.y.z tarball from the Internet) to  specify
       the  kernel  source  for  your  currently  running kernel. Don't! Those
       source is not exactly what have been used to build the  running  kernel
       and  its  configuration  most likely does not match yours. You need the
       configured kernel source directory or at least the derived kernel-head-
       ers-...  package containing the kernel configuration for the exact ker-
       nel version (complete version string).  If you do not  understand  any-
       thing  of  the  above, run "m-a prepare" and/or look at the description
       and contents of some kernel-headers-... package.  Please run  the  mod-
       ule-assistant prepare command once before you do anything else.

       For  some  packages, kernel-headers (reduced source) is not enough. You
       will have the choice to run  a  completely  customized  kernel,  or  to
       recreate  the  source that have been used to build the current one. The
       fakesource function may be useful, see below.

       In order to configure a kernel source properly, you need to  make  sure
       that  the file version.h is generated. To get it, configure the options
       as usual (make menuconfig etc.) and run make dep (for kernel 2.4.x)  or
       make prepare (for newer ones).

       Most  commands  require  a specification of the package names that they
       should be applied on.  pkg can be a single word (package name) or  mul-
       tiple names. The word all will be expanded to the list of all available
       packages, the word alli to the list  of  currently  installed  (source)
       packages  and  the  word  allu will be expanded to the list of packages
       that seem to be installed and unpacked in the  base  source  directory.
       If a source package with the given name is not available, module-assis-
       tant (abbreviated: m-a) will extend the package name with  the  popular
       suffixes  like  -kernel,  -driver, -module, -source and combinations of

       Multiple  commands  can  be  specified  in  one  invocation,  eg.  "m-a
       clean,get,build  arla cdfs" is the short way to write "module-assistant
       clean arla-modules-source ; module-assistant clean cdfs-src  ;  module-
       assistant  get  arla-modules-source  cdfs-src  ;  module-assistan build
       arla-modules-source cdfs-src" (or similar).

       If you do not like the dialog/whiptail GUI, feel free  to  use  the  -t
       switch to disable it.

       update update  is  used  to  resynchronize the version index files from
              their sources. This happens with helper scripts provided by  the
              packages.  module-assistant  has  a default built-in list of the
              packages that it should look for but other packages can be  reg-
              istred  by  module-assistant  if  the maintainer adds the helper

              Tries to determine the name of the required kernel-headers pack-
              age (either the one matching the currently running kernel or for
              the versions specified with -l), installs it if needed and  cre-
              ates the /usr/src/linux symlink if needed.

              Experimental  function  which tries to determine the name of the
              required/compatible kernel-source package, installs it, modifies
              the  Makefile to look like the original source and runs configu-
              ration routines as needed. Warning: DO NOT RELY ON THE RESULTING
              SOURCE. It may be very different from the original version.

       list | list-available | la
              list-available  (abbreviated with la) presents a list of details
              about specified packages, including installed  version,  instal-
              lable  versions and recently built binary packages. If the pack-
              age names are omitted, shows all known packages. With -v, prints
              long package paths.

       list-installed | li
              Synonym  to  list  alli. Acts like list-available but limits the
              list to the installed source packages.

       search Synonym to list -s. Looks for locally  compiled  packages  first
              and (if none found) searches for alternative installation candi-
              dates with apt-cache.

       get    get followed by the package list installs  the  package  source,
              downloading source packages when needed.

       build  build  is followed by one or more source packages that should be
              built. It chooses the kernel source  appropriate  for  the  cur-
              rently  running  kernel  unless  different directories have been
              specified. If the build fails, look for the most recent log file
              in /var/cache/modass (or the user-specified location).

              install  is followed by one or more packages desired for instal-
              lation. The last built package for the current running kernel is

       auto-install | a-i
              auto-install  is  followed  by  one or more packages desired for
              installation. It will run prepare to configure  your  system  to
              build  packages, get the package source, try to build it for the
              current kernel and install it.  You can use alli or allu  short-
              cuts  to  select  all  installed modules source packages or only
              those that have been unpacked before (similar to  the  make-kpkg
              tool normaly does, looking in $MODULE_LOC)

       auto-build | a-b
              like auto-install but does not install the package immediately

       clean  clean clears the build directories of the kernel packages.

       purge  purge  clears  the  information  cache  of  a source package and
              removes all binary packages locally built from it (that  module-
              assistant knows about). USE WITH CARE!


              Show pure build/install/update logs, no progress bars.


              The  kernel  source  directories  to be used for builds. You can
              specify multiple directories with multiple options or  separated
              by  commas or line separators (e.g using -k "`echo /usr/src/ker-
              nel-headers-*`" ).  The kernel versions detected in this  direc-
              tories  are automaticaly added to the list of target kernel ver-
              sions (see --kvers-list for details).


              List of kernel version strings (as in KVERS) to act on. If omit-
              ted,  the  version  string  of  the  currently running kernel is
              inserted. If --kernel-dir specifies additional  source  directo-
              ries,  the  kernel versions that belong to them will be inserted

              The locations of the kernel source (or headers) that  belong  to
              this  kernel  versions  are  either  detected by a lookup in the
              "usual" locations on Linux systems, or they  must  be  specified
              with the --kernel-dir option.


              Shows  a  bit  more  information,  like full paths of the binary


              If a package that is to be generated does already exist  in  the
              target  directory  (maybe in on older version), -n prevents from
              building the package again.

              The default behaviour is to skip  when  exactly  the  same  file
              (with  the  same  filename)  is  to be generated as the one that
              already exists, and the new filename could  be  detected  before
              starting the build process (depends on the module package).


              Never  look  for  target  file  (in another version) and force a
              build.  For the get command, download a newer version of a pack-
              age even if it is already installed.


              All relevant environment variables with paths will be redirected
              to new directories under the one specified with this option.


              When the package build was not successful,  just  continue  with
              other  candidates.  By default, module-assistant will suggest to
              examine the build log. This option may also modify the behaviour
              of dpkg and apt-get to reduce the need for human interaction and
              install build dependencies as needed.


              See search command for details.


       --help Prints the usage overview.

       You can export the following environment variables to modify the behav-
       iour  of  the build scripts. Some packages may ignore them or interpret
       them differently.

              KPKG_DEST_DIR specify the target directory where  the  resulting
              Debian  package should be installed into. However, many packages
              ignore this variable and install the  file  into  the  directory
              above  the  kernel  source directory or above the current direc-

              If SIGNCHANGES is set, .changes files will be generated (calling
              kdist_image  rule  instead of kdist) and debsign (or gpg or pgp)
              will be executed to sign the changes.

              Specifies the realname  of  the  person  building  the  package,
              interesting  for  .changes  file only. In addition, if KMAINT is
              set  and  KPKG_DEST_DIR  is   not,   DEB_DESTDIR   will   become

              Specifies  the  realname  of  the  person  building  the package
              (interesting for .changes file only).

              A different location for the (already extracted)  module  source
              directories. Default is /usr/src/modules.

              A  different  location  for  cached data, used by helper scripts
              from module-assistant. Default is /var/cache/modass.

              A different location for  module  source  tarballs.  Default  is

              Wrapper command to execute command as root. If you are not root,
              fakeroot is chosen automatically. This variable must  be  inter-
              preted  by  individual  packages  so some of them may ignore it.
              However, you  can  still  run  module-assistant  inside  of  the
              ROOT_CMD wrapper.

       module-assistant can work without being root. However you won't be able
       to use apt-get or dpkg to install the packages, and you cannot write to
       /var/cache/modass  on  a normal Debian system. So the commands are get,
       install, auto-install and prepare are taboo for regular users. However,
       if  the  sudo  program is installed, it will be invoked for apt-get and
       dpkg operations.  All remaining commands except of list  require  addi-
       tional  environment  variables  to  move  the target paths to locations
       writable for the user. They all can be trimmed to a certain location (a
       writable directory) using the -u switch.

              List  of  helper scripts shipped with the module-assistant pack-

              Helper scripts installed by other packages.

              make-kpkg (1) ,

       See the module-assistant bug page  <URL:http://bugs.debian.org/src:mod-
       ule-assistant>.   If  you  wish  to  report  a bug in module-assistant,
       please use the reportbug (1) command.

       0      Success

       1..249 various errors during the build process

       254    problem with permissions

       255    fixable error after user intervention

       Quicklist (fast output without details)

       Integration into APT and/or into the init system

       "Aggressive" debianisation using the templates set (to generate a pack-
       age with guessed name from any source that looks like beeing compatible
       with kernel 2.6 build system)

       automatic transformation of kernel sources to generate .udeb packages

       Module-Assistant was written by Eduard Bloch <bladeATdebian.org> for the
       Debian distribution.

                                  16 Mai 2005              MODULE-ASSISTANT(8)