Effing HAL

Freminlins freminlins at gmail.com
Thu Oct 29 21:56:00 UTC 2009

For Christ's sake. I have an IBM X41 laptop, which was happily running
FreeBSD 7.1. Having a little free time this evening I decided to update it
to 7.2. The upgrade failed miserably so I had to install from scratch. But
that's OK, because I had backed up the machine beforehand.

The install went through fine (via NFS after PXE boot - no CDROM on this
box). And then I get to X. As this is a minor update I go to use the old
Xorg config which worked fine. No joy. I get the dreaded "No screens found"
error, although the screen is there of course. After trying X -configure
several times, tweaking, etc., I get nowhere slowly. i810 is now just intel,
but whatever. The screen comes up, but no mouse or keyboard. After yet much
more fiddling and tweaking I finally get to the crux of the problem:
fricking HAL.

Having installed this from scratch using the X User defaults I might have
expected that something that is now required to get the flipping keyboard
and mouse working would be enabled by the installer. But no, I have to waste
time on this crap just to get back to where I was before. Oh, and HAL uses
6MB or so of RAM. Not a lot. But as I already specify the hardware in the
Xorg conf file it is, as far as I can see, an unnecessary waste.

I thought it would be easy, but no, it's just a pain. It's wasn't
unsolvable, as I have years of fiddling with UNIX and FreeBSD in particular.
But for effing Christ's sake.

I know this isn't specifically a FreeBSD problem, HAL being needed by X. But
the flipping installer should enable it when I selected X flipping User from
the install options.

My little upgrade has now turned from a bit of fun into a saga that I don't
want to go through again.

I had to get this off my chest. It was, as they say, doing my head in.


More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list