RE: Options depending on STANDALONE

From: Thomas Renninger
Date: Mon Aug 07 2006 - 13:27:42 EST

On Thu, 2006-08-03 at 16:49 -0400, Brown, Len wrote:
> >On Thu, Aug 03, 2006 at 10:25:43PM +0200, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> >> ACPI_CUSTOM_DSDT seems to be the most interesting case.
> >> It's anyway not usable for distribution kernels, and AFAIR the ACPI
> >> people prefer to get the kernel working with all original DSDTs
> >> (which usually work with at least one other OS) than letting
> >> the people workaround the problem by using a custom DSDT.
> >
> >Not true at all. For SuSE kernels, we have a patch that lets people
> >load a new DSDT from initramfs due to broken machines requiring a
> >replacement in order to work properly.
> CONFIG_ACPI_CUSTOM_DSDT allows hackers to debug their system
> by building a modified DSDT into the kernel to over-ride what
> came with the system. It would make no sense for a distro
> to use it, unless the distro were shipping only on 1 model machine.
> This technique is necessary for debugging, but makes no
> sense for production.
> The initramfs method shipped by SuSE is more flexible, allowing
> the hacker to stick the DSDT image in the initrd and use it
> without re-compiling the kernel.
> I have refused to accept the initrd patch into Linux many times,
> and always will.
> I've advised SuSE many times that they should not be shipping it,
> as it means that their supported OS is running on modified firmware --
> which, by definition, they can not support.
Tainting the kernel if done so should be sufficient.
> Indeed, one could view
> this method as couter-productive to the evolution of Linux --
> since it is our stated goal to run on the same machines that Windows
> runs on -- without requiring customers to modify those machines
> to run Linux.

There are three reasons for the initrd patch (last one also applies for
the compile in functionality):

There might be "BIOS bugs" that will never get fixed:
(Because it's an obvious BIOS bug, "compatibility" fixing it could make
things worse).

There might be "ACPICA/kernel bugs" that take a while until they get

This happens often. There comes out a new machine, using AML in a
slightly other way, we need to fix it in kernel/ACPICA. Until the patch
appears mainline may take a month or two. Until the distro of your
choice that makes use of the fix comes out might take half a year or
And backporting ACPICA fixes to older kernels is currently not possible
as ACPICA patches appear in a big bunch of some thousand lines patches.
But this hopefully changes soon.

In my mind come:
- alias broken in certain cases
- recon amount of elements in packages
- wrong offsets at Field and Operation Region declarations
-> should be compatible for quite a while now
- ...

This is why at least compile in or via initrd must be provided in
mainline kernel IMHO. Intel people themselves ask the bug reporter to
override ACPI tables with a patched table to debug the system.
Do you really think ripping out all overriding functionality from the
kernel is a good idea?


It is true that some users are happy with a fixed DSDT, even you tell
them to find the root cause..., but sooner or later they always come

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