Re: linux-kernel-digest V1 #136

Henrik Juul Hansen (
Mon, 7 Aug 1995 12:08:33 +0200

Subject: Modules,Booting and Device-drivers.

Hi ....

This is a question about modules/booting/device-drivers.

What is the difference between loading a device driver using
'insmod' or 'modprobe' (Bjorn Ekwall and Jacques Gelinas) and
compiling them into the kernel. I guess my question is:
Is the kernel able to use a 'rmmod' like function to remove
modules compiled into the kernel? Is memory irq etc. free'd?

I know that 'insmod' can first be run after the system is up.
Is it possible to read the kernel and the modules separate at boot?

My idea is a boot option like 'setup' which prompts for all the
modules (and optionally the hardware parameters) in the kernel.
Very simple just accept or reject a module/driver - and enter the
hardware parameters or accept the probed values. Just like the
VGA driver prompts for which mode you want. When you know the values
write them in a table to use next time.
I do not know the details about the kernel - (but I somewhere in
main.c is seems like the different drivers are setup).
I volunteer to figure it out and write some code if it is possible.

The reason is: It still is very technical to setup a Linux machine.
There are too many combinations of hardware to make a kernel/bootdisk
for each one and including too many drivers can make the kernel
hang or just not recognize the hardware. Besides compiling the kernel
is too compilcated to most users (hackers not included).
Even if you have tried it 50 times you can not be sure that it
works on a new machine. For people new to Linux it is more that
difficult. This is a pity I think. So if it is possible to have
one bootdisk with the kernel and the modules - and use rmmod/insmod
for the boot/installation I would like to do some work on this.


Henrik Juul Hansen -