Re: ISA slot detection on PCI systems?

From: Lionel Bouton (
Date: Thu Jan 03 2002 - 16:44:57 EST

Alan Cox wrote:

>>This would break things like cross-compilation. Not sure how many people
>>use it though. You will have to be on the machine for which you intend
>>to compile the kernel. If you are compiling the kernel for the same machine
>>then it is the best thing to happen, provided the software doing the
>>configuration for u is not broken
> I'm really not too worried about Grandma cross compiling kernels

ROTFL at the mental image of my Grandma configuring a cross-compiling

Eric, you said somewhere else in this thread that eventually we should
be able to make kernel configuration as easy as MAC configuration.

In short we can't.

MAC configuration is a dream we can't touch. The core hardware and most
importantly the mainboard firmware is done by the very same company that
develops the OS. I guess they didn't shout themselves in the feet and
made firmware and hardware with clean enough interfaces that they could
make hardware detection trivial.
Even if they did mistakes, had bugs, they have the exhaustive list of
them and most probably can easily use workarounds.

Contrast this with the PC world : numerous mainboard manufacturers, bios
developpers, extension card manufacturers, Operating Systems, each with
their own bugs others desesperately try to work around...

The general case where all works ok (no bugs in dmi, pnp, ...) is the
exception and the land here is full of workarounds and dead ends if you
want to do hardware detection.

The worst case : the plain old ISA bus where you can't try to detect a
specific extansion card without risking to lock the system hard by
screwing some other type that is listening on ports you probed.

What I think we should try is to identify the most stable interfaces
(lspci works ok for most systems and would be of great help), use them
and let the user fill the gap (ISA/MCA/VLB/AGP bus switches for the
*user* is a great idea indeed).

We are quite PC centric here. But other archs are certainly far more
friendly to what you're up to.


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