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New HOWTO: Plug-and-Play-HOWTO - page 2

Table of Contents

  • April 26, 2001
  1.  Introduction

  1.1.  Copyright, Trademarks, Disclaimer, & Credits

  1.1.1.  Copyright

  Copyright (c) 1998-2001 by David S. Lawyer  

  Please freely copy and distribute (sell or give away) this document in
  any format.  Send any corrections and comments to the document
  maintainer.  You may create a derivative work and distribute it
  provided that you:


  1. If it's not a translation: Email a copy of your derivative work (in
     a format LDP accepts) to the author(s) and maintainer (could be the
     same person).  If you don't get a response them email the LDP
     (Linux Documentation Project): submit@linuxdoc.org.

  2. License the derivative work in the spirit of this license or use
     GPL.  Include a copyright notice and at least a pointer to the
     license used.

  3. Give due credit to previous authors and major contributors.

  If you're considering making a derived work other than a translation,
  it's requested that you discuss your plans with the current
  maintainer.


  1.1.2.  Disclaimer

  While I haven't intentionally tried to mislead you, there are likely a
  number of errors in this document.  Please let me know about them.
  Since this is free documentation, it should be obvious that I cannot
  be held legally responsible for any errors.


  1.1.3.  Trademarks.

  Any brand names (starts with a capital letter) should be assumed to be
  a trademark).  Such trademarks belong to their respective owners.


  1.1.4.  Credits


  �  Daniel Scott proofread this in March 2000 and found many typos,
     etc.

  �  Pete Barrett gave a workaround to prevent Windows from zeroing PCI
     IRQs.



  1.2.  Future Plans; You Can Help

  Please let me know of any errors in facts, opinions, logic, spelling,
  grammar, clarity, links, etc.  But first, if the date is over a month
  old, check to see that you have the latest version.  Please send me
  any info that you think belongs in this document.

  I haven't studied the code used by various Linux drivers to implement
  Plug-and-Play.  Nor do I fully understand how PnP is configured by the
  BIOS (it depends on which BIOS) nor how Windows9x updates the ESCD.
  Thus this HOWTO is still incomplete and may be inaccurate (let me know
  where I'm wrong).  In this HOWTO I've sometimes used ??  to indicate
  that I don't really know the answer.


  1.3.  New Versions of this HOWTO

  New versions of the Plug-and-Play-HOWTO should appear every month or
  two and will be available to browse and/or download at LDP mirror
  sites.  For a list of mirror sites see:
  .  Various formats are available.
  If you only want to quickly check the date of the latest version look
  at:  .  The
  version you are now reading is: v1.01, April 2001 .


  1.4.  New in Recent Versions

  v1.01 April 2001 less shortage today of bus-resouces, clarity in sect.
  2, Windows 2000 OK (even if "not a PnP OS" in CMOS)

  The version 1.0 (Nov. 2000) was long overdue and recognized that the
  kernel is doing more in helping device drivers set up PnP.  Kernel 2.4
  is significantly improved in this respect.  There's still a lot of
  improvements needed in both this HOWTO and the way that Linux does
  PnP.


  1.5.  General Introduction.  Do you need this HOWTO?

  Plug-and-play (PnP) is a system which automatically detects PC devices
  such as disks, sound cards, ethernet cards, modems, etc.  It also does
  some low-level configuring of them.  To be detected by PnP, the device
  must be designed for PnP.  Non-PnP devices (or PnP devices which have
  been correctly PnP-configured), can often be detected by non-PnP
  methods.

  While the Linux kernel has no centralized plug-and-play system, it
  does provide programs which various device drivers can use to do their
  own plug-and-play.  Many drivers take advantage of this and find your
  PnP devices OK.  The BIOS hardware of your PC likely may also do some
  plug-and-play work.  Thus if everything works OK PnP-wise, you can use
  your computer without needing to know anything about plug-and-play.
  But if some devices which are supported by Linux don't work (because
  they not discovered or configured correctly by PnP) then you may need
  to read some of this HOWTO.  You'll learn not only about PnP but also
  something about how communication takes place inside the computer.

  In this document I mention so many things that can go wrong that one
  who believes in Murphy's Law (If something can go wrong it will) may
  become quite alarmed.  But for PnP for most people: If something can
  go wrong it usually doesn't.  Remember that sometimes problems which
  seem to be PnP related are actually due to defective hardware or to
  hardware that doesn't conform to PnP specs.
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