Trimming the default /boot/device.hints

M. Warner Losh imp at
Wed Jan 28 11:27:41 PST 2009

In message: <p06240807c5a64df6e188@[]>
            Garance A Drosehn <gad at> writes:
: 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.

Actually, that's a very clever idea you've stumbled into.  The boot
loader already know if acpi is involved, and could trivially be
augmented to know if there's PNP data.  If neither of them are in
place, it could automatically load legacy.hints...

But the cheap 'get the file there' is a good idea.


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