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Linux Kernel 2.6 PCMCIA - mini-HOWTO
Last update: 08 November 2005.
Table of contents:
* [1]Introduction
* [2]Setup
+ [3]Determine the socket driver to use
+ [4]Resource database
+ [5]Dependencies
+ [6]Install pcmciautils
+ [7]The difficult cases: CIS overrides
* [8]Usage
1. Introduction
So, you'd like to get PCMCIA working on Linux kernel 2.6.13-rc1 or
later? This short document intends to help you doing so; for
additional questions please search the web, especially the help forums
of your distribution, or ask on the [9]Linux-PCMCIA mailinglist. Also,
the help texts in the Linux kernel configuration for the PCMCIA
subsystem might point you into the correct direction -- so please read
2. Setup
Fortunately, several distributions have already included up-to-date
pcmciautils and PCMCIA support into their products. Therefore, you may
be able to rely on your distribution to set up the system correctly.
2.1. Determine the socket driver to use
At first, you need to determine which PCMCIA socket driver you need to
use. On most modern notebooks, this is yenta-socket. Else, check the
kernel configuration menu for the appropriate driver.
Then, make sure it is either built into the kernel, or it is loaded
during bootup. Previously, this was oftern handled by the pcmcia-cs
startup script. As you won't use this package any longer, you can't
rely on it any more to load the socket driver!
2.2. Resource database?
Then, you need to find out whether you need a resource database. This
contains the ioport and iomem region which PCMCIA cards may use.
Fortunately, less and less systems require setting such a database up.
2.2.1. The lucky ones
Sockets which are governed by these drivers do not need a resource
* hd64465
* Au1x00
* SA1100
* SA1111
* PXA2xx
* M32R_PCC
* M32R_CFC
* VRC4171
* VRC4173
2.2.2. The unlucky ones
These sockets always need a resource database:
* i82365
* tcic
2.2.3. The complicated ones
For the remaining socket drivers,
* yenta-socket
* pd6729
* i82092
you need to investigate a bit further. However, if you think that this
is too complicated for you, just try it out without a resource
database. If it doesn't work, you can still add the resource database
later on.
First you need to know if the system is of the x86 or x86_64
architecture. If you don't know what this means, check wheter you have
an apple printed on the backside of your notebook -- then the answer
is no, else it is most probably yes. x86 and x86_64 architectures
Now you need to determine the PCI bus the device is on: search for the
device using the lspci command. Then you'll see a number like
0000:02:03.0 in front of the device. If the second "block" (which is
02 in this example), is zero, you need a resource database, if it is
not zero, you do not need it. other architectures
On other architectures (including ppc and ppc64) you do not need a
resource database for such sockets.
2.3. Dependencies
If you do not need a resource database, you do not run
a modular kernel and you are lucky, you might not need any userspace
tools at all.
If you use a modular kernel, you also need module-init-tools 3.2-pre4
or later.
In addition, you either need the basic hotplug scripts installed, or a
working udev environment.
2.4. Installing pcmciautils
Get the latest revision of pcmciautils. Then, you need to configure
it. Therefore, open the file "Makefile" with an editor of your choice,
and modify it accordingly:
If you do not need a resource database, modify the line which starts
with STARTUP to read
STARTUP = false
If you want to use udev instead of hotplug to manage the activation of
pcmciautils, modify the line which starts with UDEV to read
UDEV = true
Issue the famous make command next. Then, if you already had PCMCIA
running well, make a backup copy of /etc/pcmcia/config.opts. Then
issue make install.
If you need a resource database, you should use the version of
/etc/pcmcia/config.opts you had up and running before (so restore the
backup copy you just made). Else you can try to use the version which
is distributed within pcmciautils and installed by default; however
you might need to modify it for the specific needs of the
architecture, socket and system you are using.
2.5. The difficult cases: CIS overrides
If the PCMCIA card you use needs a "CIS" override (sort of a
"firmware" override) to work correctly, get the proper file out of
[10]pcmcia-cs or from other sources, rename it from ".dat" to ".cis"
and store it into /lib/firmware/.
3. Usage
3.1. devices
Plug the cards in, watch them appear in /sys/bus/pcmcia/devices/, use
them. Don't forget to unmount block devices before ejecting a PCMCIA
If you relied on the startup scripts in /etc/pcmcia/*, you should
switch to the generic hotplug scripts in one of its variants (hotplug,
hotplug-ng, and so on) or to udev rules. Most distributions already
include this capability; if not, you might need to adapt them slightly
depending on your distribution and configuration. Also check the udev
documentation, for example if you want to name interfaces differently
from the kernel's default setting.
3.2. pccardctl (replaces cardctl)
And what about the command cardctl you might be used to? It is
replaced by several new ways to achieve the same aims; if you want to
update pccardctl to handle them all, please send patches to the
[11]Linux-PCMCIA mailinglist.
cardctl info pccardctl info
cardctl ident pccardctl ident
cardctl insert pccardctl insert
cardctl eject pccardctl eject
cardctl suspend pccardctl suspend [>=2.6.15]
cardctl resume pccardctl resume [>=2.6.15]
cardctl suspend echo -n "3" > /sys/class/pcmcia_socket/pcmcia_socket*/d
cardctl resume echo -n "0" > /sys/class/pcmcia_socket/pcmcia_socket*/d
cardctl status cat /sys/class/pcmcia/pcmcia_socket/*/*
cardctl config cat /sys/bus/pcmcia/devices/*/*
cardctl scheme -- not implemented, as incompatible to cardbus. Use
other utilities (udev, nameif, ...) to achieve
the same aims --