March 26, 2019

Linux Kernel Launches Hardware Management Features

Preparing for Liftoff

  • May 7, 2007
  • By Carla Schroder

The 2.6 Linux kernel has been one amazing roller-coaster ride of excellent new features and changes coming faster than you can say "git along now, little patchies." Hardware detection and management, and removable media management are probably the most obvious changes to users.

We're almost to the point of genuine seamless no-muss no-fuss Plug-and-Play. There is still room for a bit of polish, and device support is always an uphill battle in this senselessly Windows-centric land of ours, but the progress in just a few years is stunning. 2.6.0 was released on December 17, 2003, just a bit over three years ago. While poor old Vista was getting bogged down in endless meetings over minutiae like shutdown menu elements, the Linux kernel team was pounding pell-mell down the trail like a team of amped-up sled dogs.

There are a lot of different daemons and subsystems that cooperate to provide smooth device detection and management, but the primary players are:

  • d-bus
  • HAL
  • udev
  • hotplug and coldplug

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