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CONFIG_CHANDEV: Channel Device Configuration

General informations

The Linux kernel configuration item CONFIG_CHANDEV:

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The channel device layer is a layer to provide a consistent interface for configuration & default machine check (devices appearing & disappearing) handling on Linux for s/390 & z/Series channel devices.

s/390 & z/Series channel devices include among others

lcs (the most common ethernet/token ring/fddi standard on zSeries) ctc/escon hi speed like serial link standard on zSeries claw used to talk to cisco routers. qeth gigabit ethernet.

These devices use two channels one read & one write for configuration & communication (& a third channel, the data channel the case of gigabit ethernet). The motivation behind developing this layer was that there was a lot of duplicate code among the channel device drivers for configuration.

Also the lcs & ctc drivers tended to fight over 3088/08's & 3088/1F's which could be either 2216/3172 channel attached lcs compatible devices or escon/ctc pipes had to be configured separately as they couldn't autodetect, this is now simplified by doing the configuration in a single place (the channel device layer).

This layer isn't invasive & it is quite okay to use channel drivers which don't use the channel device layer in conjunction with drivers which do.

For more info see the chandev manpage usually distributed in Documentation/s390/chandev.8 in the Linux source tree.



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