Subject: Re: Testing for devices in kernel startup
To: Bill Studenmund <>
From: Christopher R. Bowman <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 11/02/1996 11:05:15
>I've gotten kinda tired of seeing people run into problems from installing
>w/o building devices. I've done this once too. Since the people who hit
>this error are usually dependent on the net for support, I think it'd
>be nice if we could help them some.
>My thought is to basically just lstat some device and make sure it exists
>and is a reasonable device. If it's not, then we print an error message
>suggesting you might want to make devices. If the kernel then soon
>crashes, there's a diagnostic message saying what to do.
>My thought was to look at /dev/console, since, AFAIK, it should be a
>character device on all ports.
>So two questions:
>1) what do people think? I envision a small change, just enough code to
>set up the lookup, do it, vn_stat, and then vn_put. And print a message.
>2) When would be a good time to do it? I.E. after namei will succede, but
>before we've tried to actually use something from /dev. I was thinking
>somewhere around swapinit() in kern/init_main.c (it doesn't seem to
>actualy look at /dev)

Not bad, but I think that we ought to write a small faq about installing
and some frequent errors, and tips, and instructions, and add a help menu
to the installer and the booter that would display these FAQs and TIP, I
think this would stop 80% - 95% of the questions that get asked on these
list about installing, We could also include the address of the lists, the
URLs of the web pages, and tell them what sort of information to include
when asking questions.  If I knew anything about mach programing, I would
do this myslef.

Christopher R. Bowman
My home page