Re: Christmas list for the kernel

From: David Lang
Date: Tue Nov 22 2005 - 16:59:41 EST

On Tue, 22 Nov 2005, Jon Smirl wrote:

On 11/22/05, Kasper Sandberg <lkml@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Currently you have to compile most of this stuff into the kernel.
forgive my ignorance, but whats stopping you from doing this now?

It would be better if all of the legacy drivers could exist on
initramfs and only be loaded if the actual hardware is present. With
the current code someone like Redhat has to compile all of the legacy
support into their distribution kernel. That code will be present even
on new systems that don't have the hardware.

An example of this is that the serial driver is hard coded to report
four legacy serial ports when my system physically only has two. I
have to change a #define and recompile the kernel to change this.

The goal should be able to build something like Knoppix without
Knoppix needing any device probing scripts. Linux is 90% of the way
there but not 100% yet.

umm, don't you realize that this just means that the device probing scripts go on the initrd? the kernel doesn't magicly decide which drivers to load, it uses scripts. especially with legacy and ISA devices there are no safe way to probe for them.

X is also part of the problem. Even if the kernel nicely identifies
all of the video hardware and input devices, X ignores this info and
looks for everything again anyway. In a more friendly system X would
use the info the kernel provides and automatically configure itself
for the devices present or hotplugged. You could get rid of your
xorg.cong file in this model.

this needs to be sent as a suggestion to xorg, but since they run on things besides Linux don't expect them to eliminate the config file (besides, how else do you override the defaults when you need to)

David Lang

There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.
-- C.A.R. Hoare
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