[RFC] cardmgr to pcmciautils mini-howto

Bob Tracy rct at gherkin.frus.com
Mon Oct 24 09:55:42 EDT 2005

Joseph Mack NA3T wrote:
> On Sun, 23 Oct 2005, Bob Tracy wrote:
> > Anyone have one or more examples of how to have hotplug bring up a
> > network interface under Slackware?
> I run rc.inet1 from net.agent

As far as I can tell, that would be sufficient for everything except
interfaces where invocation of the wireless tools is necessary, e.g.,
a wireless interface with WEP enabled (got to set the encryption key
with "iwconfig").

What I've cobbled together for the moment is having net.agent call
stripped-down versions of the pcmcia-cs "network" and "wireless"
scripts.  Philosophically, I'm trying to follow the general advice
given in Jean Tourrilhes' "Sane network interface management with
Hotplug" document (http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Jean_Tourrilhes/Linux/HOTPLUG.txt),
which might be summarized as "init scripts are cool for built-in interfaces,
but use hotplug for removables."  Slackware's "rc.inet1" (at least the
version I'm looking at) is very much an init script to my way of thinking:
it can be forced to do "unnatural" things (like doing string handling in
FORTRAN :-)), but it's really best suited for built-in interfaces.

While what I've done thus far works, the net effect has been little more
than replacing the pcmcia-cs cardmgr with the equivalent hotplug mechanism
for finding/loading the appropriate driver modules.  A variant of the
pcmcia-cs network scripts is still doing the heavy lifting as far as
configuring the removable network interface.  Complexity has increased,
functionality has not, and I've temporarily lost some flexibility that
pcmcia-cs gave me (depends on /var/lib/pcmcia/stab -- equivalent info
available under /sys/bus/pcmcia).  This is NOT intended to be a slam of
the current pcmcia subsystem rewrite effort, because it's clearly the
way things ought to be done.  The problems I'm running into are mostly
bleeding-edge related, i.e., they will go away as pcmcia hotplug matures
and the distro vendors figure out how best to integrate the new

Bob Tracy                   WTO + WIPO = DMCA? http://www.anti-dmca.org
rct at frus.com

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