Trimming the default /boot/device.hints

Garance A Drosehn gad at
Wed Jan 28 11:14:42 PST 2009

At 11:39 PM -0700 1/27/09, M. Warner Losh wrote:
>I don't like this change.  However, you've hit on part of the reason I
>don't like the change.  I don't think it goes far enough, and at the
>same time loses valuable history.
>To address the latter, I'd do a cp GENERIC.hints LEGACY.hints and add
>comments to the top that this is for systems that don't have PNPBIOS
>or ACPI or that there's problems with those.

Admittedly I know almost nothing about the hints themselves, but I
like this idea.  We already supply multiple kernel files, even though
everything is documented in NOTES.  We do it because it's convenient
and it costs us nothing.

We could even install the LEGACY.hints file as /boot/legacy.hints,
and then if someone has a problem we can say  "go into the boot
loader, and type 'include /boot/legacy.hints'.  If that doesn't
solve your problem, then your problem is not related to this big
change to /boot/device.hints".  And if it *does* solve their problem,
they can just look at 'dmesg' after they boot up, and get a good idea
of what lines they need to add to /boot/device.hints.

I don't see how this would cost us much (compared to *not* having a
legacy.hints file), and yet it might make things much easier if it
turns out that too many hints had been removed.

Garance Alistair Drosehn     =               drosehn at
Senior Systems Programmer               or   gad at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute;             Troy, NY;  USA

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