[arch-dev-public] ifconfig triggers linux-3.0 to load appletalk and ipx

Ray Rashif schiv at archlinux.org
Wed Aug 10 09:29:40 EDT 2011

On 10 August 2011 18:53, Tom Gundersen <teg at jklm.no> wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 12:13 PM, Pierre Schmitz <pierre at archlinux.de> wrote:
>> I just wondered why I had ipx and appletalk modules loaded. After some
>> tests I figured out that simply running ifconfig triggers the kernel to
>> load them. This does not happen with an older kernel; e.g. our lts
>> package. Any ideas about that? It might not break anything but it is
>> strange anyway. We might also rethink if supporting these ancient
>> protocols in kernel and user space tool is still needed.
> Doing a quick "git log v2.6.32..v3.0 drivers/net/appletalk
> net/appletalk" did not reveal any changes to autoloading of the
> appletalk module (all I saw was BKL removal and minor
> bugfixes/cleanups). If the module is in our kernel package, and the
> admin has not blacklisted it, I suppose the correct behavior _is_ to
> autoload it when something might need it (such as ifconfig).
> It almost certainly can be disabled in the kernel though, it was at
> some point moved to staging, with the justification:
>    For all I know, Appletalk is dead, the only reasonable
>    use right now would be nostalgia, and that can be served
>    well enough by old kernels. The code is largely not
>    in a bad shape, but it still uses the big kernel lock,
>    and nobody seems motivated to change that.
>    FWIW, the last release of MacOS that supported Appletalk
>    was MacOS X 10.5, made in 2007, and it has been abandoned
>    by Apple with 10.6. Using TCP/IP instead of Appletalk has
>    been supported since MacOS 7.6, which was released in
>    1997 and is able to run on most of the legacy hardware.
> This was later reverted, but not for any good reason, just because they could:
>    This reverts commit a6238f21736af3f47bdebf3895f477f5f23f1af9
>    Appletalk got some patches to fix up the BLK usage in it in the
>    network tree, so this removal isn't needed.
> Similarly, I was not able to figure out why IPX is suddenly loaded.
> However, there was no sign of this ever being deprecated. I suppose
> the correct thing to do if you don't want to use it is to blacklist
> it. (Or we could remove that to if people think it is not used any
> more, I really don't know).

I'd just remove these from the kernel itself :) People can always
modprobe, and it's not like these modules were expected to have loaded
on prior occasions.


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