driver.conf(4) File Formats driver.conf(4)
driver.conf - driver configuration files
Driver configuration files provide values for device properties. The values override val-
ues provided by the devices themselves. Most modern devices provide enough property values
to make a driver configuration file unnecessary.
The system associates a driver with its configuration file by name. For example, a driver
in /usr/kernel/drv called wombat has the driver configuration file wombat.conf, also
stored in /usr/kernel/drv, associated with it. On systems capable of support 64-bit driv-
ers, the driver configuration file should be placed in the directory in which the 32-bit
driver is (or would be) located, even if only a 64-bit version is provided. For example, a
64-bit driver stored in /usr/kernel/drv/sparcv9 stores its driver configuration file in
The value of the name property is the node name. In a driver.conf file, where the generic
node name and compatible property associated with a self-identifying devices are typically
not used, the node name must be a binding name. The binding name is the name chosen by the
system to bind a driver to the device. The binding name is either an alias associated with
the driver established by add_drv(1M) or the driver name itself.
The syntax of a single entry in a driver configuration file takes one of three forms:
name="node name" parent="parent name" [property-name=value ...];
In this form, the parent name can be either the binding name of the parent nexus driver or
a specific full pathname, beginning with a slash (/) character, identifying a specific
instance of a parent bus. If a binding name is used then all parent nodes bound to that
driver match. A generic name (for example, pci) is not a valid binding name even though it
can appear in the full pathname of all intended parents.
Alternatively, the parent can be specified by the type of interface it presents to its
name="node name" class="class name" [property-name=value ...];
For example, the driver for the SCSI host adapter can have different names on different
platforms, but the target drivers can use class scsi to insulate themselves from these
Entries of either form above correspond to a device information (devinfo) node in the ker-
nel device tree. Each node has a name which is usually the name of the driver, and a par-
ent name which is the name of the parent devinfo node to which it will be connected. Any
number of name-value pairs can be specified to create properties on the prototype devinfo
node. These properties can be retrieved using the DDI property interfaces (for example,
ddi_prop_get_int(9F) and ddi_prop_lookup(9F)). The prototype devinfo node specification
must be terminated with a semicolon (;).
The third form of an entry is simply a list of properties.
A property created in this way is treated as global to the driver. It can be overridden by
a property with the same name on a particular devinfo node, either by creating one explic-
itly on the prototype node in the driver.conf file or by the driver.
Items are separated by any number of newlines, SPACE or TAB characters.
The configuration file can contain several entries to specify different device configura-
tions and parent nodes. The system can call the driver for each possible prototype devinfo
node, and it is generally the responsibility of the drivers probe(9E) routine to determine
if the hardware described by the prototype devinfo node is really present.
Property names must not violate the naming conventions for Open Boot PROM properties or
for IEEE 1275 names. In particular, property names should contain only printable charac-
ters, and should not contain at-sign (@), slash (/), backslash (\fR), colon (:), or square
brackets (). Property values can be decimal integers or strings delimited by double
quotes ("). Hexadecimal integers can be constructed by prefixing the digits with 0x.
A comma separated list of integers can be used to construct properties whose value is an
integer array. The value of such properties can be retrieved inside the driver using
Comments are specified by placing a # character at the beginning of the comment string,
the comment string extends for the rest of the line.
Example 1 Configuration File for a PCI Bus Frame Buffer
The following is an example of a configuration file called ACME,simple.conf for a PCI bus
frame buffer called ACME,simple.
# Copyright (c) 1993, by ACME Fictitious Devices, Inc.
#ident "@(#)ACME,simple.conf 1.3 1999/09/09"
name="ACME,simple" class="pci" unit-address="3,1"
This example creates a prototype devinfo node called ACME,simple under all parent nodes of
class pci. The node has device and function numbers of 3 and 1, respectively; the property
debug-mode is provided for all instances of the driver.
Example 2 Configuration File for a Pseudo Device Driver
The following is an example of a configuration file called ACME,example.conf for a pseudo
device driver called ACME,example.
# Copyright (c) 1993, ACME Fictitious Devices, Inc.
#ident "@(#)ACME,example.conf 1.2 93/09/09"
name="ACME,example" parent="pseudo" instance=0
name="ACME,example" parent="pseudo" instance=1;
This creates two devinfo nodes called ACME,example which attaches below the pseudo node in
the kernel device tree. The instance property is only interpreted by the pseudo node, see
pseudo(4) for further details. A property called debug-level is created on the first dev-
info node which has the value 1. The example driver is able to fetch the value of this
property using ddi_prop_get_int(9F).
Two global driver properties are created, whizzy-mode (which has the string value "on")
and debug-level (which has the value 3). If the driver looks up the property whizzy-mode
on either node, it retrieves the value of the global whizzy-mode property ("on"). If the
driver looks up the debug-level property on the first node, it retrieves the value of the
debug-level property on that node(1). Looking up the same property on the second node
retrieves the value of the global debug-level property(3).
add_drv(1M), pci(4), pseudo(4), sbus(4), scsi(4), probe(9E), ddi_getlongprop(9F), ddi_get-
prop(9F), ddi_getproplen(9F), ddi_prop_get_int(9F), ddi_prop_lookup(9F), ddi_prop_op(9F)
Writing Device Drivers
To avoid namespace collisions between multiple driver vendors, it is strongly recommended
that the name property of the driver should begin with a vendor-unique string. A reason-
ably compact and unique choice is the vendor over-the-counter stock symbol.
The update_drv(1M) command should be used to prompt the kernel to reread driver.conf
files. Using modunload(1M) to update driver.conf continues to work in release 9 of the
Solaris operating environment, but the behavior will change in a future release.
SunOS 5.11 5 Jan 2007 driver.conf(4)