Bug 123505 - /etc/pcmcia/config references missing modules
Summary: /etc/pcmcia/config references missing modules
Alias: None
Product: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3
Classification: Red Hat
Component: kernel
Version: 3.0
Hardware: i686
OS: Linux
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Peter Martuccelli
QA Contact: Brian Brock
Depends On:
TreeView+ depends on / blocked
Reported: 2004-05-18 21:48 UTC by Jonathan Reed
Modified: 2007-11-30 22:07 UTC (History)
12 users (show)

Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2007-01-23 18:43:16 UTC

Attachments (Terms of Use)

Description Jonathan Reed 2004-05-18 21:48:36 UTC
From Bugzilla Helper:
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.4.2)

Description of problem:
Numerous drivers referenced in /etc/pcmcia/config are missing.  Some
are gone completely.  Others have man pages, but lack the actual
kernel modules.  

For example, the 3c589 card claims to be supported:

>device "3c589_cs"
>  class "network" module "3c589_cs"
> [snip]
>card "3Com 589 Ethernet"
>  manfid 0x0101, 0x0589
>  bind "3c589_cs"

However, inserting a 3c589 card yields a "didn't work" beep code from
the speaker, and the following in the logs

May 18 17:03:33 localhost cardmgr[3744]: socket 0: 3Com 589 Ethernet
May 18 17:03:33 localhost kernel: cs: memory probe
0xa0000000-0xa0ffffff: clean.
May 18 17:03:33 localhost cardmgr[3744]: executing: 'modprobe 3c589_cs'
May 18 17:03:33 localhost cardmgr[3744]: + modprobe: Can't locate
module 3c589_cs
May 18 17:03:33 localhost cardmgr[3744]: modprobe exited with status
255May 18 17:03:33 localhost cardmgr[3744]: module
/lib/modules/2.4.21-9.EL/pcmcia/3c589_cs.o not available
May 18 17:03:34 localhost cardmgr[3744]: get dev info on socket 0
failed: Resource temporarily unavailable

This is due to the fact that there is no 3c589_cs.o module installed
anywhere on the machine.  Other modules that don't exist include:
xirc2ps_cs (manpages present, no module)
smc91c92_cs (ditto)

And many others, but I don't have the time go through and find all of

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):

How reproducible:

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Obtain 3c589
2. Place in PCMCIA slot
3. Hear 1 happy beep indicating the card was recognized by cardmgr.
4. Hear 1 sad beep indicating the module could not be located.
5. less +G /var/log/messages    

Actual Results:  The card was detected, but unusuable as there was no

Expected Results:  The 3c589_cs module should have been installed by
the distribution, and then found by cardmgr, and then loaded.

Additional info:

If a bunch of PCMCIA modules were removed on purpose (which I
sincerely hope is not the case), then the pcmcia config files need to
get cleaned up.  But a card should not be detected and then fail
because the module wasn't shipped with the package.

Comment 1 wdc 2004-05-18 21:52:58 UTC
This is precisely the sort of problem that I had hoped my customers
would have avoided by going to a well tested Red Hat Enterprise Product.
A quick repair of this problem would be most useful to Red Hat's and
my customers doing new RHE installs.

Platform Coordinator
for Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Comment 2 Arjan van de Ven 2004-05-19 06:31:35 UTC
have you installed the kernel-unsupported rpm from the cd/RHN ?

Comment 3 Jonathan Reed 2004-05-24 14:35:52 UTC
Installing the kernel-unsupported rpm did work.  However, there needs to be an option in 
the installer, or at least some mention of the fact that you'll get a broken behavior until 
you install this rpm.  The fact that /etc/pcmcia/config contains references to modules that 
have manpages, but don't actually have the modules installed is broken.  Upon hearing 
one successful beep and one low-pitched beep when inserting the 3c589 card, most users 
would attribute that to some problem with their card, rather than thinking "Hrm, maybe 
there's an rpm that contains a bunch of unsupported modules"

Comment 5 wdc 2004-10-21 04:09:23 UTC
Excuse me.

Why is it an "enhancement" that the PCMCIA, as presently constructed refers to missing 
modules, and does not adequately give users the clue about how to remedy the problem?

I could see this as a low priority bug.  But I'm afraid that I REALLY think this is a BUG, not 
an enhancement request.  Is it **REALLY** that hard to put together enough of the default 
PCMCIA configuration so that it will find the few fully supported fingers and toes without 
blowing chow for unsuspecting new users?


Comment 6 Ernie Petrides 2004-10-21 04:29:17 UTC
Sorry.  I was working under the premise that we were going to treat
this as a request to begin (in RHEL3) supporting the 3c589_cs.o
driver (as opposed to as a config script bug).  I'll switch the
severity back to "normal".

Comment 7 Jonathan Reed 2005-04-21 18:15:51 UTC
So, back in October, it was determined that this was in fact a bug, not an enhacement.  Why did it get 
switched back to enhancement?

Comment 8 Ernie Petrides 2005-04-21 21:46:22 UTC
Sorry about that.

Don, this is a request to Product Management to consider supporting
the drivers/net/pcmcia/3c589_cs.o module in the RHEL3 kernel.  (It's
built but released via the associated kernel-*unsupported-* RPMs.)

Comment 9 Jonathan Reed 2005-04-21 22:48:40 UTC
No, it's not a request to support the 3c589.  I merely used the 3c589 as an example.  The problem is 

/etc/pcmcia/config has entries for cards that point to modules (of which 3c589 is only ONE example) 
which do not exist unless the kernel-unsupported package is installed.  This results in the cardmanager 
getting confused, since it beeps a success code to indicate it found the card in its database, then a fail 
code to indicate it could not load the module.

Possible solutions include:
- punting those drivers from /etc/pcmcia/config, and making kernel-unsupported include a new 
pcmcia config file, or append to the existing one via a %post scriptlet in the spec file.
- Installing kernel-unsupported by default when pcmcia is installed.

Comment 14 wdc 2005-10-07 01:07:12 UTC
Follow up:

People here at MIT tell me that this problem has been "solved" by the deletion
of the kernel-unsupported RPM from RHEL 4, and associated with that deletion the
loss of a fair number of device drivers that used to be just hunky dory under

Could someone at the Red Hat side please follow up with maybe a pointer to a
white paper that makes explicit 3 categories of action taken on
kernel-unsupporte modules:

1. Now supported.
2. Never gonna be supported.
3. In process of being supported.

Or is it the case that we should just make our own list consisting of:

"Anything you don't see in the modules now is never gonna be supported".

As unhappy as I would be to see that list of drivers, explicit closure here
would be a good thing.

Thanks in advance,

-William Cattey
MIT Linux Platform Coordinator

Comment 15 Peter Martuccelli 2007-01-23 18:43:16 UTC
Closing this issue out as worksforme in RHEL3 as long as you install the
kernel-unsupported rpm.  Support for new platforms, chipsets, drivers, features
and/or packages in RHEL3 is over. 

Comment 16 wdc 2007-01-23 19:32:33 UTC
Close it if you must.

An opportunity has been lost to help the community understand explicitly what is and is not supported 
with PCMCIA.

I guess we will have to leave it to competitors of Red Hat to give proper road maps for device driver 
support, and to deal with shifting support levels by something other than sudden and undocumented 

The bug is closed.
The problem has gone away.
So has the customer.

William Cattey
MIT Linux Platform Coordinator

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