Hyper-V Linux driver code has forked
These drivers began life as the same ones submitted to the Linux Kernel in July 2009, but as those originals have been modified with patches and changes from the Linux community, the code bases between this download and the Linux kernel have forked. Microsoft says that over the next few months, it will integrate them back into a single code base. But, says Tewari, the fork was inevitable because the Hyper-V drivers were submitted to the latest stable version of the kernel at the time, 2.6.32 (version 2.6.33 became available late last month). Not all the commercial distributions are using that release. These drivers support Red Hat based on 2.6.18 and 2.6.27, for instance.
As part of the work of reuniting the code again, Microsoft promises to include some enhancements, such as a fix for the mouse issue.
How Red Hat will support
Red Hat has promised that the Hyper-V drivers will eventually become a native part of its distribution. That will in all likelihood occur whenever Red Hat upgrades its commercial product to kernel 2.6.32 or later. Indeed, this is the reason why Microsoft swallowed crow and submitted its drivers to the kernel in the first place, under the GPL no less. This even though it continues to toy with the threat that Linux violates its patents. (Last week, Microsoft made two announcements that harked back to its threats: One with Amazon.com and another with Panasonic ... but I digress.)
Until then this frienimies/odd couple needed to work out who was going to support what. In October, Red Hat certified that its operating system would work with Hyper-V, but Tewari says, that didn't mean that Red Hat was saying Hyper-V guests would be supported. A couple of weeks ago Red Hat agreed that the Hype-V drivers would be treated under the same policy that other third-party drivers not directly included in the distro were treated. Red Hat will now support its operating system, even if its running on Hyper-V, unless its support folks say the issue is caused by the driver. In that case, Microsoft will provide support.
If this whole situation still sounds less than ideal, Tewari asks users to stand by for a little while. He's got some upcoming news he says you'll like, "We understand the kind of support we offer for Linux with the ICs is not at the same level that we support Windows, but we are fully committed to make sure that our customers get that same support over time. You should be seeing an announcement from us in the next two to four weeks."
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