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SubjectRe: [RFC] Generic access to firmware environment variables
>>>>> On Wed, 10 Apr 2002 20:42:31 +0200, Jan-Benedict Glaw <> said:

Jan-Benedict> Hi! I've developed a driver to access environment
Jan-Benedict> variables on Alpha computers from userspace through
Jan-Benedict> procfs some time ago. These days, I updated the
Jan-Benedict> driver. While doing this, I also looked at other
Jan-Benedict> architectures; some of them also do have some kind of
Jan-Benedict> environment variables in firmware:

Jan-Benedict> Alphas - SRM firmware SGI Workstations - ARCS
Jan-Benedict> firmware MIPS/ITE-Boards - PMON m68k/MAC - ?? (info is
Jan-Benedict> placed into a "bootinfo" struct) IA64 - (_seems_ to
Jan-Benedict> know about environment...)

Jan-Benedict> They all access environment variables either by name,
Jan-Benedict> or by an internally handles number. For Alpha, I've
Jan-Benedict> (now) implemented both, access by name (if variable
Jan-Benedict> name is known/described) and access by generic number.

Jan-Benedict> I think it would be useful to have something like this
Jan-Benedict> for other architectures as well. So I'm currently
Jan-Benedict> thinking about implementing a base driver (like
Jan-Benedict> parport does) and additional modules to implement
Jan-Benedict> machine/architecture specific access methode (like
Jan-Benedict> parport_pc).

Jan-Benedict> It's easy to code, so what do you think of this?

On EFI platforms, there is /proc/efi/vars. The module was written by
Matt Domsch <>. EFI is used on ia64 and x86
servers. Note that EFI variables can contain arbitrary binary data,
not just text strings.

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