[linux-elitists] devfs and new module-init-tools

Jim Bray jb@as220.org
Wed Jan 15 09:18:03 PST 2003

(my responses to comments on this thread):

> From: Greg KH <greg@kroah.com>

> Adam Richter has posted a devfs replacement to lkml that looks
> promising, and fixes up most (if not all) of the implementation problems.
> But the real problem with devfs, is that it imposes a naming policy that
> is embedded within the kernel.  I'm working on replacing devfs with a
> small userspace program that will provide all of the same functionality,
> as well as allow any naming policy that you could ever want.  The
> combination of sysfs and /sbin/hotplug allows this to be done.

  Good. If you are going to have any variables, like devfs does, please
also allow them to be set and tested. If current devfs had that, it would
provide a way to work around the problem at hand.

> So in short, don't lament the fact that devfsd doesn't work so well in
> 2.5, you shouldn't be using it in the first place :)

  I'm only using it because it came with Gentoo..

> From: Mister Bad <mr.bad@pigdog.org>
> Organization: Pigdog Journal
> Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 11:41:35 -0800
> >>>>> "GK" == Greg KH <greg@kroah.com> writes:
>     GK> {sigh} Sorry, just a bit grumpy that very few people are
>     GK> reporting any problems in 2.5 because they aren't using it,
>     GK> and somehow they expect it to get better.  Don't worry, I'll
>     GK> get over it...
> I built it, and I got all kinds of weird errors on Debian startup. I
> didn't doc them at the time -- something changed in the module
> interface, maybe? I dunno.

  Yes. That's what I was giving the heads-up about. The module stuff
changes somewhere after about 2.5.48, and you need new module tools.
The Gentoo package info is:

*  sys-apps/module-init-tools
      Homepage:    http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/rusty/modules
      Description: Kernel module tools for the development kernel >=2.5.48

  The tools themselves are pretty good. On install, they rename the old
tools to <tool>.old, and if the new tools detect an old kernel, they
just exec the <tool>.old. They use a modprobe.conf file with a different
format, so they don't conflict with the old tools. Unfortunately, devfs,
at least on Gentoo, wants to have modprobe use a modules.devfs file, and
one is stuck having it work for one or the other. Eventually I may write
an init-script hack to switch a symlink from one to the other based on
kernel version... unless a smarter devfs comes out first...


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