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Linux Kernel Driver Database and AutoKernConf

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LKDDb: Linux Kernel Driver DataBase

what Linux drivers are for me?

About LKDDb

LKDDb is an attempt to build a comprensive database of hardware and protocols know by Linux kernels. The driver database includes numeric identifiers of hardware, the kernel configuration menu needed to build the driver and the driver filename. The database is build automagically from kernel sources, so it is very easy to have always the database updated.

There exists two versions: text based database, to be processed automatically (see lkddb.list below), and the web LKDDb version, which includes also text and hardware strings from kernel and other databases.

Automagical Kernel Configuration

The automatic kernel configuration is an obvious application of the driver database. It combines an hardware detection, that could be easy performed checking buses in /sys/bus.

The Automagical Kernel Configuration has an own AutoKernConf project page.

News

Important news about the project:

Latest changes:

Getting the database

The database is a text file, which contains: sub system, sub system specific hardware data, kernel configurations and kernel driver file that contain such probe. Usually the system specific hardware data is in form of mask, and list only fields that are really checked by the kernel. Detailed information are available in lkddb format page.

The latest versions is in file lkddb.list on sources/lkddb/ directory.

Actually the LKDDb contains probes for the subsytems:

There also some statistics on total probes, and probes per subsystem.

Getting the lkddb.list generator

The program (build-lkddb.py and four short modules: devicetables.py (definition of probes), utils.py (main support routines), kbuildparser.py (support for configuration and makefiles), srcparser.py (expand macro)) is a python script, distributed with the GNU GPL v2. It was designed with a lot of euristic on how the hardware is coded in Linux kernel, but it should be pretty accurate, and designed to be quite fast (it take nearly 2 minutes, with warm cache on my computer). Additionally, the program web-lkddb-gen.py will build the online version of lkddb.

The sources are placed in the sources/lkddb-sources/ directory.

Usage:

./build-lkddb.py /home/cate/kernel/6,v2.6/linux-2.6/

The first argument is the top directory of kernel source tree. Eventually you can restrict the subdirectories to be parsed, adding as extra arguments these directories (Note: anyway it will parse the whole include/ directories).

The program will write the database to lkddb.list, and a lot of diagnostic message to the console (which I use to improve euristic detection).

Slides

I've done a presentation at a Open Source Jam in Google Zurich:

History

A long time ago (in 2000), to remove some Empire code, the former kbuild team designed a new way to build and configure the kernel. The third (and minor) task was to add an autoconfig target to the build system. I took the autoconfiguration part. Then was flames, flames and flame (maybe someone remember about CML2 and the Aunt Tillie. So the new make and the new CML2 was rejected, and because my part was dependent to the other two sub project (and to have a simpler life), I hibernate the project.

In late 2007, I restored the project, rewriting and publishing some part that was never finished. Atually I works more on the driver database, because I find that automatic configuration is a more problematic field: what should be the target configuration? In direction of perfection, so minimal, or in direction of optimal, so removing only surelly unneeded drivers?.

So I split the project in two, allowing external programs to use the database.

Contact

You can contact me using cate (at) cateee.net

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