Subject: Re: Kernel "vanity" config files
To: Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino <>
From: Roger Brooks <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 07/05/1999 13:58:39
On Mon, 5 Jul 1999, Jun-ichiro itojun Hagino wrote:

>>> (a) the kernel config files move to a more functional basis:
>>This one is a good idea I think.
>>We should also provide more than GENERIC, at last for i386 (too much bloat).
>	I think these names are easier to understand, and agree that it is a
>	good thing, but...
>	NOTEBOOK is too tricky to support.  There are too many speical
>	cases and it will be almost impossible to make a "for every notebook
>	possible" configuration file.

I was about to make a comment on this.  Having got NetBSD 1.4 working on
my Latitude XPi a couple of weeks ago I had been thinking of suggesting
that it would be nice if the NetBSD WWW site had a bit more information
about support for laptops.  When I was looking for a second-hand laptop
I spent a lot of time looking at the Linux on Laptops page in order to
make sure I didn't end up with anything which had unsupported hardware.
It's a pity the NetBSD site doesn't have something similar.

The Latitude is one of those machines where you have to set
PCIC_ISA_INTR_ALLOC_MASK to avoid PCMCIA cards getting the same IRQ as
the onboard sound.  I now have the onboard sound working (but I had to boot
Win 95 in order to discover where the ESS1688 was -- it isn't at the I/O
address stated on the Dell website).  I know that there are several other
people running NetBSD on laptops, and suggest that we should all contribute
our config files for inclusion in the i386 distribution (I'll volunteer

A further thought.  Would it be a terrible idea to have the kernel try
to autosize on the available RAM?  If you set MAXUSERS in the config file,
this would be what you get, but if it wasn't defined you'd get a sensible
value for the amount of RAM in the system.

I wonder if in fact the proposed configs DESKTOP, WEBSERVER, FILESERVER
would actually turn out to be different?  While I can see the point of
trying to provide ready-to-use configs, if you have say 6 "functional"
configs and you then have several "hardware" versions of each of these
(e.g. ISA-only, EISA, PCI), the number grows rather quickly.


Roger Brooks (Systems Programmer),          |  Email:
Computing Services Dept,                    |  Tel:   +44 151 794 4441
The University of Liverpool,                |  Fax:   +44 151 794 4442
PO Box 147, Liverpool L69 3BX, UK           |