driver.conf(4) File Formats driver.conf(4)
driver.conf - driver configuration files
Driver configuration files pass information about device drivers and their configuration to the system. Most device drivers do not have to
have configuration files. Drivers for devices that are self-identifying, such as the SBus devices on many systems, can usually obtain all
the information they need from the FCode PROM on the SBus card using the DDI property interfaces. See ddi_prop_get_int(9F) and
ddi_prop_lookup(9F) for details.
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 drivers, 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 ver-
sion is provided. For example, a 64-bit driver stored in /usr/kernel/drv/sparcv9 stores its driver configuration file in /usr/kernel/drv.
The value of the name property (see the name field, below) needs to match the binding name of the device. The binding name is the name cho-
sen by the system to bind a driver to a device and is either an alias associated with the driver or the hardware node name of the device.
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 a simple nexus driver name to match all instances of that parent/node, or the parent name can
be a specific full pathname, beginning with a slash (/) character, identifying a specific instance of a parent bus.
Alternatively, the parent can be specified by the type of interface it presents to its children.
name="node name" class="class name" [property-name=value ...];
For example, the driver for the SCSI host adapter may have different names on different platforms, but the target drivers can use class
scsi to insulate themselves from these differences.
Entries of either form above correspond to a device information (devinfo) node in the kernel device tree. Each node has a name which is
usually the name of the driver, and a parent name which is the name of the parent devinfo node it will be connected to. Any number of name-
value pairs may 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
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 explicitly 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 may contain several entries to specify different device configurations and parent nodes. The system may 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 characters, 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 prefix-
ing 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 ddi_prop_lookup_int_array(9F).
Comments are specified by placing a # character at the beginning of the comment string, the comment string extends for the rest of the
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 num-
bers 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 will attach 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 will be created on the first dev-
info node which will have the value 1. The example driver will be able to fetch the value of this property using ddi_prop_get_int(9F).
Two global driver properties are created, whizzy-mode (which will have the string value "on") and debug-level (which will have the value
3). If the driver looks up the property whizzy-mode on either node, it will retrieve the value of the global whizzy-mode property ("on").
If the driver looks up the debug-level property on the first node, it will retrieve the value of the debug-level property on that node(1).
Looking up the same property on the second node will retrieve the value of the global debug-level property(3).
pci(4), pseudo(4), sbus(4), scsi(4), probe(9E), ddi_getlongprop(9F), ddi_getprop(9F), ddi_getproplen(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 reasonably 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 con-
tinues to work in release 9 of the Solaris operating environment, but the behavior will change in a future release.
SunOS 5.10 29 Apr 2003 driver.conf(4)