Linux kernel 2.4 driver and firmware loading

aubin labrosse aubin at stormboxes.com
Wed Jul 16 19:08:59 UTC 2008


Hi Greg,

forgive me for a simple question, but i think the answer is really more
complex than i can seem to find on google.  Am I correct that there is
no "standard method" for loading firmware in 2.4?  my company needs to
write a driver for a specialized usb device which doesn't really fit
into any of the kernel's usb subsets (ie it's not a nic, it's not a mass
storage device, it's not a video device, etc - it's a usb spectrometer.
This device needs specialized firmware to be loaded when it is plugged
in.  My task is to figure out two things:

1) how do we load firmware onto the device when it is plugged in, in the
2.4 kernel?  I imagine it will be via /sbin/hotplug and the usb agent,
based on the vendor id of the device, right? but since each device is
probably different with respect to how to load the firmware i'm guessing
we need a custom tool that gets called by hotplug, yes?, and,
2) what's the best way to go about writing a driver for a usb device
which doesn't fit into any of the other subsystems of the kernel? what i
mean is, from my (very limited) kernel experience, the usb drivers seem
to have two parts somewhat, a usb part, and then a device subsystem part
(ie the nic part, the video part, the mass storage part etc)
 - but as i'm rather certain the vanilla kernel doesn't have a
spectrometry subsystem ( ;-) ) i guess we have to do everything
"manually", of course, yes?  what are good drivers to look at in the 2.4
tree?

any help much appreciated,

-aubin



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