Ubuntu Linux Preparing systemd-hwe To Ease OEM Hardware Enablement

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 14 August 2022 at 05:35 AM EDT. 28 Comments
Being prepared for Ubuntu 22.10 and presumably will be back-ported in future Ubuntu 22.04 LTS point releases is the systemd-hwe package to more easily deal with updated hardware rules as part of new device enablement.

Right now Ubuntu resorts to systemd stable release updates (SRUs) when needing to ship updated udev hardware rules that are part of the systemd source tree. The intent with systemd-hwe is separating those udev rules into a separate package that can be more easily updated and shipped down as stable updates for users rather than an entire systemd package update.

The systemd hardware database "hwdb" is used by udev for overriding of properties, setting up user access to interfaces, setting keyboard key values, and also various hardware quirks. As part of Ubuntu's OEM enagements, they've had to resort to systemd SRUs in order to ship updated hardware database entries while now moving forward they are working to punt it off to systemd-hwe.

Systemd-hwe is already in Ubuntu 22.10's universe archive while a new MIR ticket confirms the plans to have it in the main archive and moving forward with systemd-hwe for handling of hardware rules. With this it will help in ensuring new hardware support / quirk fixes make it more easily to Ubuntu stable users with less churn to the main systemd package.

Those curious about the growing number of systemd hwdb entries can see systemd's hwdb.d for the current state of this hardware database.
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