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SubjectSubtle kernel configuration tool problem. Support for viper. Hi, I know that kernel configuration tool(s) are undergoing chnage, but here is one anomaly I noticed. I have an ABIT K7G raid motherboard, and attach an ATA/IDE disk to its non-raid contr
Subtle kernel configuration tool problem. Support for viper.


I know that kernel configuration tool(s) are undergoing chnage,
but here is one anomaly I noticed.

I have an ABIT K7G raid motherboard, and
attach an ATA/IDE disk to its non-raid controller.
This board uses AMD chipset.

I am using the kernel 2.4.20.
(I use Debian GNU/Linux, but upgrade the kernel on my own

I notied earlier that the dmesg showed the following message:

VP_IDE: IDE controller on PCI bus 00 dev 39
VP_IDE: detected chipset, but driver not compiled in!
VP_IDE: chipset revision 6
VP_IDE: not 100% native mode: will probe irqs later

After seeing this, I realized that
I didn't enable the viper support and so
I made sure that I have enabled
the VIPER support in

make xconfig

Then I recompiled and installed the kernel for next boot, etc.
However, no matter how I tried (and a few times), the message lines
still appeared.
(Actually, I enabled the viper support a few weeks ago in make xconfig
re-installed kernel,
and was suprised to find the message again, and this time I investigated
a little on my own.)

I re-checked the produced .config and was surprised
to find there were NO mention of the supposedly
enabled AMD viper support flag(!?).

Just being curious, I DISABLED the viper support
and saved the configuration under a different name
and compared the file to the original config file.
They were IDENTICAL! (This was done under make xconfig)

(At this stage, I probably reenabled the viper support under
make xconfig. Also, I ran make oldconfig just to be sure
my .config is in sane state with respect to 2.4.20.
But there were not discernable output, and make oldconfig
finished without prompting input. At the end is the
history of commands which I ran during this investigation.)

Now I wasn't quite sure what to do, but
then I tried the different configuration method, namely:

make menuconfig

What was really strange is that
the AMD VIPER support was marked [*] and so the tools
seem to think that I have enabled it, but why not the
proper line in .config file? (Are user preferences
stored somewhere else other than the .config file itself ?)

Now I was not trusting the tool(s) at this time
very much, there must be some internal consistency problem.
So I ticked off the [*] mark and saved it (under
make menuconfig).

I compared it with the old config produced
by xconfig. Then I realized that diff output
had lots of marked comment lines (probably,
somehow the lines inside were re-ordered by make menuconfig
or make oldconfig?).

Anyway, AMD viper support was not in. Since I have
ticked the mark off, this was to be expected.

THEN, I ticked the AMD viper support
in make menuconfig, and finally I found
the AMD viper support flag line in .config:


The above story is very strange, but it happened.

For people working to improve the kernel configuration tool(s), I hope
this post provides a data point for problem(s), which might face the
people trying to configure the kernel.

To people's credit, I think this is the first time something like this
happened with the kernel configuration in my use of Linux for the last
few years.

Just to be complete, here is the command I ran while I tried to track
down the problem and made sure the AMD74XX support is in.

106 make xconfig
107 dmesg grep VIPER
108 dmesg | grep VIPER
109 dmesg | grep Viper
110 dmesg | grep viper
111 dmesg | VP_IDE
112 dmesg | grep VP_IDE
113 grep AM /usr/src/linux/.config
114 cp ./config ./config.saved
115 cp ./.config ./config.saved
116 make xconfig
117 ls -ltr
118 diff -cibw ./.config new-config
119 make oldconfig
120 make xconfig
121 diff -cibw .config config.saved
122 make menuconfig
123 ls -ltr
124 diff -cibw .config new-config
125 diff -cibw .config new-config | grep -v ^#
126 diff -cibw .config new-config | grep -v "^! #"
127 diff -cibw .config new-config | grep -v "^[!+] #"
128 diff -cibw .config new-config | grep -v "^[!+] #" | more
129 make menuconfig
130 pwd
131 history
132 diff -cibw .config new-config | grep -v "^[!+] #" | more
133 make clean; make dep; make bzImage; make modules; make
134 history

PS: it could be that my .config file contained some crufts left over
from much earlier releases (2.3.x, 2.2.y, 2.0.z) and this may explain
the problem.

I ran make xconfig for the last time and
saved the configuration under make-config.

I did the following to compare the lines that contain
the substring "AM" in the now .config (that contains
the VIPER support flag) and
the file that make xconfig produed finally.

It seems that whatever internal tool(s) "make xconfig"
and "make menuconfig" use don't seem to agree
on the set of flags.
make menuconfig seems to produce
one extra flag called CONFIG_AMD74XX_OVERRIDE,
while make xconfig doesn't.

135 make xconfig
136 ls -ltr
137 diff -cibw ./config make-xconfig
138 diff -cibw ./.config make-xconfig
139 diff -cibw ./.config make-xconfig
140 grep AM ./.config make-xconfig
141 grep AM ./.config > /tmp/.config.AM
142 grep AM ./make-config > /tmp/make-config.AM
143 grep AM ./make-xconfig > /tmp/make-xconfig.AM
144 diff -cibw /tmp/.config.AM /tmp/make-config.AM
145 diff -cibw /tmp/.config.AM /tmp/make-xconfig.AM
146 history

duron:/usr/src/linux# !145
diff -cibw /tmp/.config.AM /tmp/make-xconfig.AM
*** /tmp/.config.AM 2003-02-15 08:00:03.000000000 +0900
--- /tmp/make-xconfig.AM 2003-02-15 08:00:24.000000000 +0900
*** 2,8 ****
- # CONFIG_AMD74XX_OVERRIDE is not set
# CONFIG_SCSI_AM53C974 is not set
# CONFIG_HAMACHI is not set
# CONFIG_HAMRADIO is not set
--- 2,7 ----

int main(void){int j=2003;/*(c)2003 cishikawa. */
char t[] ="<CI> @abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.,\n\"";
char *i ="g>qtCIuqivb,gCwe\np@.ietCIuqi\"tqkvv is>dnamz"
while(*i)((j+=strchr(t,*i++)-(int)t),(j%=sizeof t-1),
(putchar(t[j])));return 0;}/* under GPL */
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