Compat-Drivers: Someone has to do it

How the hell did this happen … Shall I or not … oh well …

My new laptop has an Atheros AR8161 ethernet device, which needs an alx kernel module.
That’s how it started some months ago. Found out that the alx module is part of compat-wireless, which was only available from the Pentoo overlay.
See http://backports.wiki.kernel.org/ and http://www.pentoo.ch.
That compat-wireless package did not build the module, so I contacted the Pentoo-devs and sent them a patch.
Pentoo just released a beta LiveCD, so I started playing with that in VMs. My previous Gentoo installation was ok, but not as nice and ready-to-use as Pentoo, soon I was running Pentoo on bare-metal as my main OS.
Having worked as software tester, I flooded the Pentoo-dev with bug-reports and patches to it “faster then he could apply them”. So they made me one of their devs. Didn’t ask for it and still feel extremely honored about that!
Seems they liked my work on the compat-wireless package – I was frequently asked to look at it when updates came out. And since Pentoo is based on hardened Gentoo, that package needs quite a few patches or it will not compile. At one time someone just applied the entire hardened kernel patch to it, the package had a patch of over 8000 lines.
Well, compat-wireless was also renamed to compat-drivers, (hardened-)kernel releases also keep coming … and that patch was just scary. So lately I took the time to recreate a new patch for compat-drivers from scratch.
Found a few other things I would like to push to the upstream developers of compat-drivers – have at least one thing that is not completely working.
But I can’t contact upstream when all my stuff is based on hardened Gentoo with all the unstable stuff in my Pentoo installation.
So here I am, setting up a new clean OS in a VM – will have to copy that to the disk to test the real hardware too – just to be able to contact some folks at kernel.org with my feedback.

It’s fun – but somehow I wonder how it came to this :-)

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