Which disk is which
judmarc at fastmail.fm
Tue Aug 31 12:20:26 UTC 2004
On Tue, 31 Aug 2004 05:55:47 +0800, "John"
<summer at computerdatasafe.com.au> said:
> Kevin D. Kinsey, DaleCo, S.P. wrote:
> > Hi, John ...
> > As you cc'ed doc@, I'm sending your original mail to them
> > also, so they'll have some background. Comments inline.
> > John Summerfield wrote:
> >> I've booted a 5.2.1 miniinstall CD and got to the point where I choose
> >> which disk to install onto.
> >> My choices are
> >> ad0
> >> da0
> >> Great. How do I know which disk is which? _I_ could work it out if the
> >> panel displayed information such as
> >> Brand
> >> Capacity
> > Read the *text* in the handbook. As an example, the following
> > appears on the page that you linked in your recent crosspost to doc@:
> > "Consider what would happen if you had two IDE hard disks, one
> > as the master on the first IDE controller, and one as the master
> > on the second IDE controller. If FreeBSD numbered these as it
> > found them, as ad0 and ad1 then everything would work.
> > But if you then added a third disk, as the slave device on the first
> > IDE controller, it would now be ad1, and the previous ad1 would " ....
> > <>This goes on for another 3-4 paragraphs; it is a discussion of why
> > FreeBSD
> > has basically "hardcoded" disk drive names/numbers into the kernel, (e.g.,
> > why IDE primary master will always be ad0, why secondary slave will always
> > be ad3, etc).
> > Then again, just above figure 2-16 (which is the same as figure 2-20
> > but without an "X" in the checkbox):
> > Figure 2-16
> > <http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/install-steps.html#SYSINSTALL-FDISK-DRIVE1>
> > shows an example from a system with two IDE disks.
> > They have been called ad0 and ad2.
> > Based on reading these sections/statements of the manual, it would seem
> > somewhat obvious that ad0 is the primary master IDE hard disk. It is
> > hard, then, at least for me, to see this as a fault of the documentation.
> The drawback to this is that you're writing from the POV of someone who
> knows all this.
> I'm not, I don't.
> I have booted some other installers on this setup and find they do
> provide more information than the bare OS-dependant name.
> Ideally, on my system, the installer would say:
> AD0 Internal IDE drive, primary master, WD102AA 10.2 Gb
> DA0 External USB drive, Cypress ATMR04-0 40 Gb
> so most, even modestly, technical people could instantly recognise which
> disk is which.
Not my intent to join in beating you about the head and shoulders, but
what some folks have been trying to say (perhaps tersely, granted) is
that you're writing to people who (1) all have lots of things to do in
the Real World(tm), (2) have far less idea of how you think the
documentation should read than you do, and (3) if they share your ideas
about what the installer should show, which is not certain, haven't had
time to do anything about it. Particularly regarding the installer, it
would appear that the change you want is either not trivial, not a
priority, or both.
Here's how you ought to proceed:
Regarding the documentation, read the Handbook and any other sources you
can find regarding submitting a "patch" (a requested change) to the
docs, do so, and see if someone with authority to make ("commit") the
change agrees with you.
Regarding the installer, see if you can find someone (reading the
freebsd-hackers mailing list might be a place to start) interested in
and capable of making the types of changes you envision, who has time to
spend on the project.
Otherwise, things will remain as they are (actually not horrible from my
point of view - absolutely there is a learning curve, but I strangely
enjoy that sort of thing), since, as others have pointed out, you're
dealing with volunteers.
Hope this helps,
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