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Re: Debian's PCMCIA support is weak and buggy

Enrique Zanardi <ezanardi@molec2.dfis.ull.es> writes:

> The bad news are that I haven't thought about PCMCIA support in our boot
> procedure until reading your message, so I guess you won't find any

Well, at least those creative juices are flowing now :-)

> difference in the first (alpha state) version of the new boot floppies,
> that I plan to upload to experimental before this weekend.


> The good news are that if you give me some advice, I will try to improve
> that support for the next revision of the boot floppies, and perhaps we
> will have something working for Debian 2.0.

I'll certainly do anything I can to help.  I think that what we need
is this:

 * WORKING pcmcia-cs and pcmcia-modules.  They don't necessarily work
   as packaged.  (eg, pcmcia-source won't compile pcmcia-modules for
   2.0.33, and I don't know why anybody would want 2.0.32 instead of
   2.0.33).  Bo's seemed to be totally hosed, but hamm's will work
   with a bit of coaxing.

 * A "PCMCIA setup" option in the install program, BEFORE device
   driver setup.  For those with SCSI-on-PCMCIA, this should also be
   before partitioning the disk.  This could be as simple as just
   running the /etc/init.d/pcmcia start script, but there are configs
   that may need to be tweaked on a per-machine basis.  The defaults
   just happen to work on my machine :-)

   Also, more things should be compiled as modules
   because any device attached to PCMCIA must be inserted as a module
   after the PCMCIA card is inserted.  Note, this means SCSI too.
   The one I ran into was network, which I think will be much more
   common than SCSI (and easier to deal with).

 * Correct initial configuration of the base system, including
   starting card services before loading modules or poking around
   with the network.

 * APM support in the kernel.  Bad Things can happen, for instance,
   if a laptop goes into standby while doing the install unless the
   kernel understands APM.


John Goerzen
Southwind Internet Access, Inc,
Business e-mail: jgoerzen@southwind.net

Personal e-mail: jgoerzen@complete.org
Wichita State University e-mail: jgoerzen@cs.twsu.edu
Developer, Debian GNU/Linux    <http://www.debian.org>

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