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    SubjectRe: [PATCH] Remove module reference counting.
    On Fri, 25 Jul 2003 04:00:18 +1000
    Rusty Russell <> wrote:

    > Hi all,
    > When the initial module patch was submitted, it made modules
    > start isolated, so they would not be accessible until (if)
    > initialization had succeeded. This broke partition scanning, and was
    > immediately reverted, leaving us with a module reference count scheme
    > identical to the previous one (just a faster implementation): we still
    > have cases where modules can be access on failed load.
    > Then Dave decided that the work of reference counting network
    > driver modules everywhere is too invasive, so network driver modules
    > now have zero reference counts always. The idea is that if you don't
    > want the module removed, don't do it. ie. only remove the module if
    > there's a bug, or you want to replace it.
    > If module removal is to be a rare and unusual event, it
    > doesn't seem so sensible to go to great lengths in the code to handle
    > just that case. In fact, it's easier to leave the module memory in
    > place, and not have the concept of parts of the kernel text (and some
    > types of kernel data) vanishing.
    > Polite feedback welcome,
    > Rusty.
    > --

    There are two possible objections to this:
    * Some developers keep the same kernel running and load/unload then reload
    a new driver when debugging. This would break probably or at least cause
    a large amount of kernel growth. Not that big an issue for me personally
    but driver writers seem to get hit with all the changes.

    * Drivers might get sloppy about not cleaning up timers and data structures
    -- more than they are already. You might want to have a kernel debug option
    that overwrite's the unloaded text with something guaranteed to cause an

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