[RFC] cardmgr to pcmciautils mini-howto

Daniel Ritz daniel.ritz-ml at swissonline.ch
Fri Oct 21 12:18:52 EDT 2005

hello all

this is a first draft of a small howto describing how to convert from
cardmgr to pcmciautils, including compatibility for running old kernels.

idea is to update the pcmciutils howto on kernel.org or integrate parts
of it into the pcmciautils package.

comments welcome.



PCMCIA: cardmgr to pcmciautils HowTo

written by Daniel Ritz <daniel.ritz at gmx.ch>

This howto describes in short how to change your system to work with the new
pcmciautils instead of the old cardmgr.


- kernel 2.6.13-rc1 and newer
- pcmciautils, preferably 010 or newer
- you read the howto at


Kernels since 2.6.13-rc1 do not require the cardmgr daemon anymore. In those
newer kernel the pcmcia bus acts almost as any other bus with full /sbin/hotplug
support. Old style cardmgr setups should still work if the kernel is configured
correctly. But be aware that the ioctl for PCMCIA will be removed in the near

The change to be /sbin/hotplug capable means that the normal /etc/init.d/pcmcia
script is not required any more and in fact only hurts as it starts cardmgr. To
use the new pcmciautils it is a requirement that cardmgr is not started.

Compiling and installing pcmciautils

You should have read the pcmciautils howto already. Again in short:
- make a backup copy of your /etc/pcmcia/config.opts
- determine whether you need UDEV set or not. if unsure: don't set it
- determine whether you need STARTUP set or not
- make
- make install (as root)
- put your original /etc/pcmcia/config.opts back to where it was

Stop cardmgr from starting

We don't want cardmgr. For setups with a PCI PCMCIA/Cardbus controller the
easiest thing to do is to make sure /etc/init.d/pcmcia does nothing.
Either make sure it does not start up, or (if you want to use older kernels
as well) add the following snippet to the beginning of /etc/init.d/pcmcia
(after the #!/bin/sh line of course):

	KVERREL=`uname -r`

	if [ "$KVER_MAJOR" == "2.6" ]; then
		# kernel 2.6.13-rc1 and higher have pcmcia via /sbin/hotplug
		if [ $KVER_MINOR -ge 13 ]; then
			# uncomment the following line if the driver for your
			# controller is not auto-loaded. or if you want to be
			# able to say /etc/init.d/pcmcia stop
			#/etc/init.d/pcmcia-new $1
			exit 0

this will make sure the init script does nothing for newer kernel and works
normally on older kernels.

if you have a socket controller where the module cannot be loaded automatically
by hotplug, uncomment the line in the above code snipped and make sure you have
the /etc/init.d/pcmcia-new script around which should look like this:


	# set this to the driver to use, one of:
	# yenta_socket, i82365, i82092, pd6792, tcic, etc.

	case "$1" in
			modprobe $DRIVER $DRIVER_OPTS > /dev/null 2>&1
			modprobe pcmcia > /dev/null 2>&1 # just in case it's not auto-loaded

			pccardctl eject
			MODULES=`lsmod | grep "pcmcia " | awk '{print $4}' | tr , ' '`
			for i in $MODULES ; do
				rmmod $i > /dev/null 2>&1
			rmmod pcmcia > /dev/null 2>&1
			rmmod $DRIVER > /dev/null 2>&1
			rmmod rsrc_nonstatic > /dev/null 2>&1
			rmmod pcmcia_core > /dev/null 2>&1

make sure you set the DRIVER (and maybe DRIVER_OPTS) variable to the right
socket driver. If yenta_socket doesn't work look up the config file from your
distro. look at the PCIC variable and PCIC_OPTS.
	- Red Hat (and Conectiva, Mandriva, etc.) have it in /etc/sysconfig/pcmcia
	- Debian (and probably Ubuntu) has it in /etc/pcmcia.conf
	- Others: sorry, don't know
If you don't know where to find it, you should look at the init script. Maybe it's
even in there directly.

The file system right for the script should be right as well:
	chmod 755 /etc/init.d/pcmcia-new

Auto-load pcmcia module

To have support for 16-bit cards you need the pcmcia module loaded. Since the
other modules do not depend on this one it is not loaded automatically. To
make sure the pcmcia module is loaded right after pcmcia_core, add the following
line to /etc/modprobe.conf
	install pcmcia_core /sbin/modprobe --ignore-install pcmcia_core; /sbin/modprobe pcmcia


Make sure hotplug works correctly. Most distros have a /etc/init.d/hotplug script
which should be loaded at boot time. For most laptops the the socket driver is
yenta_socket. If it is not loaded after boot it means that hotplug is not working
correctly. Reasons for the driver not loaded include the /etc/hotplub/blacklist
file or some other list that prevents the driver being loaded.
eg. Conectiva Linux 10 does not load PCI modules per default, but only modules
that are listed in /etc/hotplug/pci.whitelist.

If your socket driver can be loaded via hotplug (PCI socket or detected by PnP or
whatever) and everything is ok, yenta_socket (or another socket driver), pcmcia,
pcmcia_core and rsrc_nonstatic (not for all socket drivers)  should be loaded after
booting. Modules for inserted pcmcia cards should be loaded as well.

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