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PnP and Bootdisks (was: Re: Success with 2.88 meg boot image!!!!!)

On Thu, Sep 03, 1998 at 09:39:15AM +0100, Enrique Zanardi wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 02, 1998 at 09:47:25PM -0400, Dale Scheetz wrote:
> > I didn't do any optimization. The kernel was compiled with "everything"
> > modules, and I included the complete modules subdirectory for that kernel
> > in a stock Debian root.bin. Still, there is some space available on the
> > current root.bin image file, and a bit of space still on the floppy image.
> > 
> > This means that there is lots of room for more inovative (and space
> > consumptive) installation techniques, at least for the CD installs.
> > 
> > The next problem I need to tackle is how to decide which modules to
> > install to complete the bootup. The kernel detects all the necessary
> > hardware during bootup, but I haven't found where it keeps that info yet.
> > 
> > If the scsi, or ethernet cards are pci, they are registered in /proc/pci,
> > and I have no problems parsing the scsi modules from that file. (BTW, the
> > graphics card is usually registered there as well which should be of help
> > to X installs)
> > 
> > This doesn't deal with the non-pci cards, or the proprietary cards.
> > 
> > I'd prefer not to ask any questions, not even "pick from the following
> > list". I'm searching for the "hands off" installation ;-)
> The 2.1.x kernels have some support for Plug'n'Play cards, and a lot more
> hardware information under /proc/pci. There are a few projects related o
> automatic hardware detection and configuration, you may want to check
> those. 

I believe the "pcitools" package supports both interfaces, but I am not
very certain about this point. "lspci" is a VERY useful tool on PCI
systems - check it out.

I plan also to implement a /proc/bus/pnp for PnP-supported devices. This
should mean you can do "lspci -p /proc/bus/pnp", and get a listing of all
PnP devices in the system

> http://www.redhat.com/linux-info/pnp/   (Linux Plug-and-Play)
> http://lucifer.hemmet.s-hem.chalmers.se/~dwh/   (Linux Kernel: Configuration Manager)
> http://www.lpsg.demon.co.uk/pnp-linux.html   (PnP driver for Linux)
> http://www.roestock.demon.co.uk/isapnptools/   (The ISAPNPTOOLS home page)

Sorry for the late reply, but...

http://www-jcr.lmh.ox.ac.uk/~pnp/ is the new address for my PnP project
(this used to be http://www.lpsg.demon.co.uk/pnp-linux.html). If anyone
wants help with the boot disks and PnP, I have a lot of ideas, and would
love to help with this project.

I also have been in correspondence with Alan Cox, who
has indicated that he will add it into the main kernel distribution
as of 2.3 (when some major new resource-management stuff is also planned,
he says).

Note that the earliest problems with this CD were caused by Sys Linux not
supporting FAT16 on floppies. This should be reported as a bug.

Now, onto the real point...

IMHO there are two main kernel-side things which need implementing to
support all hardware like this:

1. A Plug-and-Play "legacy" system (e.g. I can configure a jumper-less
   card in the same way I can configure PCI or PnP cards).
2. A "device driver" system.

By a "device driver" system, I mean some sort of database which "knows"
how to identify any particular piece of hardware, what software (user or
kernel) drives it, etc.

> (That is one of my goals for Debian 2.1 bootfloppies, but if you
> work on it I'll gladly help or focus in other parts of the installation
> system).

I would need help. ATM, I haven't yet been able to successfully build
the boot-disks in their entirety... EVER. The problem is that I don't
run a completely up-to-date mirror myself (and my 2.0 CDs haven't
arrived yet... I think they must be being checked in customs or
something - serves me right for ordering internationally).

Basically, what is involved in PnP support via my driver is a kernel patch,
and some (simple but as yet unwritten) user-land utilities. I would like
to see as an eventual goal all the hardware auto-detection support
separated from the hardware driving code in the kernel modules.

Tom Lees <tom@lpsg.demon.co.uk> <tom@debian.org>  http://www.lpsg.demon.co.uk/
PGP Key: finger tom@master.debian.org, http://www.lpsg.demon.co.uk/pgpkeys.asc.

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