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the mysteries of modprobe.d

The task is simple:

autoload the snd-intel8x0 module when required.

What to do ?

This is one of the many mysteries of linux which I have _never_ seen
explained.  How do I know the name of the "thing" which the kernel is
going to ask for ?

So when I fire up xmms, in theory the kernel will turn around and ask
for char-major-116.  But how do I know that ?  How would I figure it
out ?  And once I figured out it was char-major-116, how do I know
that's the "snd" module and not a timer module, or the rtc, or the
soundcore module instead ?

Back to the task at hand, the top of the alsa-base file in modprobe.d
looks like :

alias char-major-116 snd
alias char-major-14 soundcore

And then there is a whole lot of other stuff.

At some point I need an alias for the snd-intel8x0 module.  What should
the alias be?  Where would it go in the order ?

The same thing applies for USB devices.  When I attach my wireless
keyboard and mouse, the usbhid module is not autoloaded.  Why not ?
How do I know what to call the alias ?



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