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SubjectRe: wrong number of serial port detected
>From: Bjorn Helgaas <>
>To: "Jason Dravet" <>
>Subject: Re: wrong number of serial port detected
>Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 12:54:44 -0700
>On Friday 09 December 2005 7:37 am, Jason Dravet wrote:
> > The question I have
> > is with all of this plug and play stuff in our PCs shouldn't it be
> > to get the correct number of ports, ask the bios or the pci bus or
> > something?
>Yes. ACPI (or even PNPBIOS) should tell us about all the "legacy"
>ports, and PCI or other bus enumeration should tell us about all the
>So in theory, if we have some flavor of PNP, we should be able to
>ignore all the compiled-in stuff in SERIAL_PORT_DFNS, which is what
>leads to the duplicate port detection. I've considered doing that
>(and ia64 already does it), but it would almost certainly break
>systems because of BIOS bugs, so I'm not sure it's worth the risk.

I agree that breaking things is bad, but it would be interesting to see what
would happen and if anyone complains. A gut feeling is that very few people
use more than the two serial ports that come on their motherboards. Where I
work out of the 2,500 PCs on campus, only 3 or 4 PCs actually use a serial
port. I think this would be a good survey for slashdot. I don't use the
serial ports on my PCs. I do use the serial ports on my servers. The
serial ports on the servers connect to a digi terminal server. One serial
port is the management interface to the server, the other is setup for
serial login.

The reason I started this thread is because I wanted to know why/how I was
seeing 32 serial ports in /dev when I have 0 enabled on my PC and I have 2
serial ports on my servers. Thanks to the responses I have a better
understanding of what is going on.

>Having all the extra /dev/ttyS entries is a little different problem.
>That is basically so "setserial /dev/ttySx" can be used to work around
>the fact that the serial driver doesn't know about all existing devices.
>If it did, setserial should be superfluous. Maybe there'd be a way to
>implement that functionality via sysfs and get rid of the extra
>/dev/ttyS entries. That'd be kind of cool.

sysfs is way outside my area of understanding. Anything that moves to a
more accurate /dev directory is good in my book.


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