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SubjectRe: Multi-function PCI devices

On Sat, 7 Apr 2001, Michael Reinelt wrote:

> Hi there,
> I've got a problem with my communication card: It's a PCI card with a
> NetMos chip, and it provides two serial and one parallel port. It's not
> officially supported by the linux kernel, so I wrote my own patch and
> sent it to the parallel, serial and pci maintainer. The patch itself is
> basically an extension of the pci id tables; and I hope it's in the
> queue for the official kernel.
> The patch worked great for me with kernel 2.4.1 and .2, but no longer
> with 2.4.3. The parallel port still works, but the serial port will not
> be detected. I had a quite long debugging session last night (adding
> printk's to the pci code takes some time, for you have to reboot to load
> the new kernel), and I think I found the reason:
> The card shows up on the PCI bus as one device. For the card provides
> both serial and parallel ports, it will be driven by two subsystems, the
> serial and the parallel driver.

Given your description, this board is certainly not a multi-fonction PCI
device. Multi-function PCI devices provide separate resources for each
function in a way that allows each function to be driven by separate
software drivers. A single function PCI device that provides several
functionnalities commonly handled by separate sub-systems, is nothing but
a bag of shit we should not want to support in any O/S in my opinion.
Let me claim that ingenieers that want O/Ses to support such hardware are
either morons or bastards.

> I found that _either_ the parallel or the serial port works, depending
> on which module you load first. The reason for this seems to be in
> pci.c, especially in the pci_register_driver() function. It reads:
> int pci_register_driver(struct pci_driver *drv)
> {
> struct pci_dev *dev;
> int count = 0;
> list_add_tail(&drv->node, &pci_drivers);
> pci_for_each_dev(dev) {
> if (!pci_dev_driver(dev))
> count += pci_announce_device(drv, dev);
> }
> return count;
> }
> pci_announce_device() will be called only if there's no other driver
> claiming the device. This explains why either the parallel or the serial
> port will be detected: The first driver loaded will see the device, the
> next drivers won't.
> I'm afraid this is not a bug, but a design issue, and will be hard to
> solve. Maybe we need a flag for such devices which allows it to be
> claimed ba more thean one driver?
> In the meantime, what can I do to get both ports working?

Since the hardware does not allows the software to transparently share the
different functionnalities provided by the silicium, you must handle such
sharing by software. I mean, you must, at least, write a module (or
sub-driver or sub-system) that will handle the sharing of the PCI
function. Band-aiding the kernel code in order to cope with such
brain-deaded hardware would be a pity, in my opinion. Burden must stay
where it is deserved. If they want their 'save 0.01$ but push shit ahead'
hardware to be supported, they should write their drivers themselves, in
my opinion.


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