Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3104 mails)

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Re: [SLE] Modules
  • From: jpennington@xxxxxxxxx (Jon Pennington)
  • Date: Mon, 3 Apr 2000 10:11:42 -0500
  • Message-id: <200004031511.KAA12344@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Sander van Vugt <sander.van.vugt@xxxxxxxx> said:

> Hi there,
> There's something I don't understand about modules. They say it's good to
> compile support for devices as modules in the kernel, since it saves system
> resources.

I'm not a `modular biggot', but I prefer to use modules whenever and wherever
possible. :)

> Well, some time ago I did, I compiled the kernel with support for the
> ide-scsi device, and I did it as a module. I restarted my system and nothing
> happened. Someone explained to me that I should do a "modprobe ide-scsi" to
> make it work.


> I don't understand that. I always thought there was some intelligent
> mechanism which would load the module automatically if I needed it, and now
> it seems there isn't.

You misunderstand. Running modprobe is a sort of fallback mechanism to prove
that the modules work. modprobe is preferred over insmod because insmod is
not intelligent enough to load dependent modules. For instance, if you have
bt848 (frame grabber) as a module and v4l support as a module, `insmod bt848'
will try to load that module and fail if the video module is not loaded.
`modprobe bt848', on the other hand, will check to see if video is loaded,
load it if necessary, and then load bt848; which will succeed.

Having the modules load automagically, you may need to do some research. `man
modules.conf' and the Kernel Module HOWTO are probably the best places to
start. After understanding and mastering the modular architecture of the 2.1
and later kernels, you may find them as indespensible as I have :).

> Well, I can live with that, but than I don't
> understand the advantage of the use of modules; it's impractical to do a
> "modprobe xyz" before one can use a device, and it takes my system resources
> anyway if I do the "modprobe xyz" at startup.

After much research, careful thought and consideration, I've come to the
conclusion that if you don't need modules for space, there isn't a real need
for one or the other. Modules are nice for diagnosing problems if you have
them, and downright necessary if you have as much hardware in your machine as
I do. To justify my point, if I had support for my IDE controller, my CD-ROM,
my CD-R, PPP, my sound card, my frame grabber, and my network card built into
the kernel, the kernel would be neary one megabyte in size, and would
consequently be unusable.

Jon Pennington | Atipa Linux Solutions
jpennington@xxxxxxxxx |
Kansas City, MO, USA | 816-241-2641 x121

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