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Linux Kernel in a Nutshell by Greg Kroah-Hartman

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Determining the Correct Module From Scratch

Sometimes you do not have the option of getting a distribution kernel working on a machine in order to determine what kernel modules are needed to drive the hardware. Or you have added new hardware to your system, and you need to figure out what kernel configuration option needs to be enabled to get it to work properly. This section will help you determine how to find that configuration option to get the hardware up and running.

The easiest way to figure out which driver controls a new device is to build all of the different drivers of that type in the kernel source tree as modules, and let the udev startup process match the driver to the device. Once this happens, you should be able to work backwards using the steps just discussed to determine the proper driver needed, and then go back and enable just that driver in the kernel configuration.

But if you do not want to build all drivers, or this does not work for some reason, it will require a bit more work to determine the proper driver that is needed. The following steps are complex and require digging in the kernel source code at times. Do not be afraid of this, it will only help you understand your hardware and the kernel source better.

The steps involved in matching the driver to the device differ depending on the type of device that you are working with. We will discuss the two most common forms of devices in this chapter: PCI and USB devices. The methods described here will also work ...

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