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Re: RFC: make loader floppy driver loading conditional on PNP BIOS info ?



On Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 08:40:28 -0700,
  "Brian C. Lane" <bcl redhat com> wrote:
> 
> Here's how I look at it, asking myself a few questions:
> 
> What is Fedora's target? It is weighted towards leading edge, new stuff,
> with some lesser amount of backwards compatibility. But the goal isn't
> to be able to keep running on my old 500MHz firewall.

A lot more powerful machines than that come with floppy drives and still
need them to do a flash (at least via the manufacturer's instructions).

> How many new systems have floppy drives? None, or close enough to none
> that rounding down is allowed.
> 
> How many older systems is Fedora running on? I don't know, but the
> number decreases with each release.

That doesn't mean the number is small.

> How many people are going to be made happier by a faster boot? Alot. And
> the number will increase, not decrease.

Maybe I am missing something here, but for machines with a floppy drive, I
expect the probe of the drive should only add a few seconds to the boot time.
Is it a lot longer than that? (Currently I have been just turning the
floppy drives on with modprobe when I need them.)

> How many people are going to be annoyed by having to explicitly load the
> floppy driver? Not many -- especially if it is clearly documented as to
> how to do it in 'all the right places(tm)'.

It's not so much annoyed by doing it, it is going from my floppy drive device
is missing to how do I get it working again. I am not sure there is a good
place to put that information.

> So I vote for making floppy driver loading an option that the user has
> to pass a kernel argument for, and for clearly documenting the change
> and what's needed to make it work the old way so that when the question
> is inevitably asked there is a nice URL to point them to.

Couldn't whether or not there is really a floppy drive attached to the system
be detected at some point and then enabled by default in the cases where
there is one? Maybe firstboot?


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