Re: Network module autoprobing in 1.3

Paul Gortmaker (
Wed, 8 May 1996 15:45:15 +1000 (EST)

>From "Avery Pennarun" at May 4, 96 01:37:05 pm

> On the other hand, perhaps I should explain my particular interest in an
> NE2000 module probe. Since most people wouldn't need it, I haven't
> brought it up before.
> Basically, I work as tech support for a computer store here in Thunder Bay,
> Ontario, Canada. I have found many times that when DOS or Win95-based
> drivers just can't locate a card I'm looking for (and of course I have no
> manual to do it myself), Linux usually can. This just impresses me, and so
> I continue to call Linux's probe routines "extremely well-tested and
> reliable." I run into lots of oddball hardware and Linux just doesn't crash
> it, for whatever reason. There may be a few drivers that aren't in the
> "extremely well-tested" category but I still haven't run into problems, for
> whatever reason.
> On the other hand, I don't like to compile kernels with LOTS of options
> thrown in, so if I need to probe for the address or type of some
> particularly strange hardware I need to either a) use the module version or
> b) compile a special kernel with the right option included.
> NE2000-compatible cards are (however unfortunately) still some of the most
> common ethernets around, and presently only option (b) is available to me.

Or (c) use the script I posted earlier to this thread...

> Since the probe routines work fine, I would really like to be able to use
> them as a module instead.

Err, with respect to the ne2000, "the probe routines work fine" ??? Given
that they do i/o writes during the probe, I beg to differ.

> Presently the arguments that have been presented still don't explain to me
> why something that _can_ be done, very easily, isn't allowed.

You better start pestering David C. Davies too then, as he disallows
autoprobing with the ewrk3 driver and the depca driver as well... ;-)

> Okay, crazy idea:
> Why not have _all_ drivers default to "probe disabled." As you say, it's
> unsafe and the order is important. If someone tries to insert the module
> without any parameters on the command line, make them all say something
> like: "Cannot insert this module because no parameters were given. If you
> would like to auto-probe for the device (WARNING! This can be dangerous on
> a running system!) use probe=1."

Okay, crazier idea:

Why not let the driver authors/maintainers use their own judgement as to
whether they think it is wise to let their driver autoprobe as a module?
Naaah, that can't work. After all, what do they know anyways....