PnP Kernel Patch

Andrew E. Mileski (
Fri, 6 Dec 1996 13:05:35 -0500 (EST)

With the recent attention the PnP Kernel Project has been getting,
It has come to my attention that some people misunderstand the
currently available patch, and what the goals of the PnP Project are.

Section 1 - The PnP kernel patch

The PnP kernel patch is EXPERIMENTAL and INCOMPLETE. It will boot
and detect PnP-ISA devices, but it does NOT yet CONFIGURE them.
If you _read_ the boot messages, you will see that at no point
does the message "configuring devices" appear.

You are wasting your time with the patch if you are not doing
development on it, or the kernel.

The pnp_patch-2.1.11a is available, but is obsolete. Please report
all problems anyways though! An updated patch will be released soon.
I will announce the release on pnp-list and linux-kernel at that time.

Section 2 - Goals of the Linux Kernel Plug-and-Play (PNP) Project


The GOAL of the Linux Kernel PnP Project is to create an API and
support code which allows drivers to IDENTIFY all devices in a system,
RECOGNIZE their hardware resource (IRQ, DMA, I/O, addresses) requirements,
CONFIGURE the device to use the hardware resources, and ACTIVATE/DEACTIVATE
the devices.

Not all devices can perform all of these functions, but the PnP
kernel API will allow a driver to do as much as the device is
capable of.

The PnP kernel API will be a GENERIC interface that is ARCHITECTURE

On the Intel architecture, there are many tyes of devices.
Example: ISA (aka "Legacy"), PnP-ISA, PnP-BIOS, PCI, EISA, PCMCIA, MCA,
and imbedded motherboard devices.
The PnP Kernel Project's scope includes _ALL_ of these!

Other architectures and devices will be supported as well.
Example: Apple, Amiga, Atari, Sparc, Sun, etc.
At least this is the plan, as support depends on VOLUNTEERS (see section 5).

Section 3 - Support for PnP-ISA and PnP-BIOS devices (Intel architecture)

The PnP Kernel Project will support these devices in the future, but
support is currently not complete (See section 1).

For support _NOW_, you can use several packages that are available.
Examples: isapnptools, PnP4kernel

Both of these packages are available from the PnP Project

There is at least one other package available for this purpose that
I am aware of, but the author has not yet submitted it to me, or the

There are also some hints for using DOS/Windows in the PnP FAQ, available
at the same places.

Section 4 - Co-operation

I will _HAPPILY_ make web and FTP space available (assuming Red Hat approves)
for anybody with any solution for Plug-and-Play support, even if it has no
bearing on the goals of the PnP Project. If you are interested, please contact
me directly.

The PnP Project will _HAPPILY_ take comments and suggestions on any matter
dealing with Plug-and-Play support of any kind. Please send such messages
to the pnp-list mailing list.

The PnP Project wants the _best_ solution possible for Linux. Everyone's
co-operation will help this become a reality.

Section 5 - A personal note

I, Andrew E. Mileski, am trying to lead the Plug-and-Play Project.
This does NOT mean only my ideas and code will be used, or that
only my name will appear on the project.

I do not care who leads the project, or produces the code. I'll be
equally happily if it is me, John or Mary Smith.

FAME is NOT my personal goal here, but the goals described in section 2 are!

To date 3 people have submitted code for use in the PnP Project.
All of this code was based on code I wrote. I appreciate the effort of
these people, but none have asked for any credit. I will _HAPPILY_ do so
at any time if asked to.

I am seeking VOLUNTEERS to help with the project. Please contact me
directly if you are interested. I _refuse_ to dictate and assign tasks
to volunteers, but I will SUGGEST to them what needs to be done and
let THEM CHOOSE what they want to work on. There are many things to
be done, which require all levels of programming skills...some don't
require any programming at all!

Thank you for spending your time to read this far :-)

Andrew E. Mileski
Linux Plug-and-Play Kernel Project
XFree86 Matrox Team