any value to supporting swap version 0 and *really* old kernels?

Robert P. J. Day rpjday at
Wed Mar 29 22:16:47 UTC 2006

  i just noticed the option (under minix filesystems) for selecting
swap V0 support, despite the fact that this version of swap hasn't
been supported for years.  but there's more to it than that.

  i notice that util-linux/mkswap.c appreciates that swap V1 was
introduced in kernel 2.1.117 but this raises a couple of questions.
first, are there really people still using such an old kernel that
they would need swap V0 support?

  it's certainly reasonable for developers to still be using a 2.4
kernel, it's maybe not so reasonable that they're using a 2.2 kernel,
but it's *really* stretching it to think that someone is still using
something that's even older than 2.1.117, no?  i mean, that version
dates back to *1998*.  at what point can one legitimately say, no,
it's time for you to upgrade.  but that's not all.

  it's also curious that mkswap.c carefully distinguishes between
2.1.117 and earlier versions.  is there a reason that busybox would
support differences between consecutive *experimental* versions of the
kernel?  should it support experimental versions at all?

  to keep things simple, one would think it would be enough to
distinguish between 2.0 and 2.2 kernels and leave it at that, without
getting into the 2.1.x stream.  or just plain drop support for
pre-2.2 kernels.  one would think that giving someone the ability to
go back to a 2.2.0 (jan 1999) kernel is giving them plenty of grace as
it is.


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