"From scratch" resource allocation

Daniel Levine dlev89 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 4 10:53:09 PDT 2009

Some hardware has resource allocation difficulties on *BSD. My Acer
Aspire 3680, for instance, has a buggy BIOS that clears resources for
the ethernet and wifi hardware when ACPI is enabled, preventing BSD
operating systems from using that hardware - I have to choose between
ACPI support and ethernet (and I don't have APM). Issues like this
seem to be fairly common on laptops.

(What I've heard about this insofar as it applies to FreeBSD is this,
from FreeBSD's John Baldwin:

"Your devices are there, they just can't allocate resources.  This is more of a
FreeBSD bug in that we don't support fully allocating I/O port and memio
resources for PCI devices from scratch, at least we don't handle allocating
resources from scratch for devices behind PCI-PCI bridges.")

I'd like to ask, does DragonflyBSD have any plans for introducing
hardware resource allocation to the kernel, instead of relying
entirely on the BIOS for that? If not, can I suggest it as a
potentially useful thing to add? I realize it would be a rather
radical departure from standard BSDisms, but it would make laptop
support a lot better... Also, it just strikes me as rather wise in
this age of buggy proprietary BIOSes to rely on the BIOS as little as
reasonably possible.

(Sorry if I'm not making any sense, I'm very unfamiliar with the
terminology involved. What I know thus far is just that the BIOS can
allocate and clear certain sorts of resources that *BSD can't, and
that buggy BIOS behavior results in *BSD not being able to use certain
hardware on my laptop.)

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