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Re: [PATCH] Correct sorting of kernel names containing '_'

From: Robbie Harwood
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Correct sorting of kernel names containing '_'
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2022 12:56:34 -0500

Robbie Harwood <> writes:

> sort(1) from GNU coreutils does not treat underscore as part of a
> version number for `sort -V.  This causes misorderings on x86_64, where
> e.g. kernel-core-3.17.6-300.11.fc21.x86_64 will incorrectly sort
> *before* kernel-core-3.17.6-300.fc21.x86_64.
> To cope with this behavior, replace underscores with dashes in order to
> approximate their intended meaning as version component separators.
> Fixes:
> Signed-off-by: Robbie Harwood <>
> ---
>  util/ | 4 ++--
>  1 file changed, 2 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)
> diff --git a/util/ b/util/
> index 301d1ac22..23d41475f 100644
> --- a/util/
> +++ b/util/
> @@ -243,8 +243,8 @@ version_test_numeric ()
>  version_test_gt ()
>  {
> -  version_test_gt_a="`echo "$1" | sed -e "s/[^-]*-//"`"
> -  version_test_gt_b="`echo "$2" | sed -e "s/[^-]*-//"`"
> +  version_test_gt_a="`echo "$1" | sed -e "s/[^-]*-//" -e "s/_/-/g"`"
> +  version_test_gt_b="`echo "$2" | sed -e "s/[^-]*-//" -e "s/_/-/g"`"
>    version_test_gt_cmp=gt
>    if [ "x$version_test_gt_b" = "x" ] ; then
>      return 0
> -- 
> 2.34.1

Before yinz bikeshed this into the ground, here are some other
approaches I considered:

- Use a C program to invoke librpm.  This has the advantage of being
  already written - it's what we currently do downstream:
  I dislike the approach regardless because it's heavyweight and doesn't
  generalize to non-RPM distros (especially since e.g. Debian can
  install a /usr/bin/rpm & co.).  But it is "more correct", so if you
  want to merge that instead, there's the patch :)

- Invoke rpmdev-vercmp if available.  Problem here is that it may not be
  (it's not part of the rpm package itself on Fedora, but rather
  rpmdev-tools), and again, won't generalize to non-RPM distros.

- Strip out any dot-delimited section that contains non-numerics.  This
  has also been written and is the attached solution to - but since it hasn't been merged
  in the six years since posting, I have to assume it's been rejected.
  It also would not correctly handle the case of
  e.g. kernel-core-2.6.32-1_test2.x86_64 vs kernel-core-2.6.32-1.x86_64

- Strip underscore entirely, either with sed or tr.  This has the same
  problem as the previous one in my mind - underscore is intended as a
  separator, and this causes it to not be treated as one.

- Ignore the sorting problem and keep the status quo as it is in
  upstream.  Attractive, but my bugzilla mailbox has plenty of angry
  people in it already :)

Be well,

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