DEPMOD(1)              Linux Module Support             DEPMOD(1)

       depmod, modprobe - handle loadable modules automatically

       depmod [ -a ]
       depmod [ -a version ]
       depmod module1.o module2.o ...

       modprobe module.o [symbol=value ...]
       modprobe -t tag pattern
       modprobe -a -t tag pattern
       modprobe -l [ -t tag ] pattern
       modprobe -r module
       modprobe -c

       These  utilities are intended to make a Linux modular ker-
       nel manageable for all users, administrators and distribu-
       tion maintainers.

       Depmod creates a "Makefile"-like dependency file, based on
       the symbols it finds in the set of  modules  mentioned  on
       the command line (or in a default place).  This dependency
       file can later be used by modprobe to  automatically  load
       the relevant module(s).

       Modprobe is used to load a set of modules, either a single
       module, a stack of dependant modules, or all modules  that
       are marked with a specified tag.

       Modprobe  will  automatically load all base modules needed
       in a module stack, as described  by  the  dependency  file
       modules.dep.   If  the  loading  of  one  of these modules
       fails, the whole current stack of modules will be unloaded
       (by rmmod) automatically.

       Modprobe  has  two  ways  of loading modules. One way (the
       probe mode) will try to  load  a  module  out  of  a  list
       (defined  by  pattern  ).  It stops loading as soon as one
       module load successfully.  This can be  used  to  autoload
       one  ethernet driver out of a list for example.  The other
       way, is to load all modules from a list.  This can be used
       to load some modules at boot time.

       With  the  option -r, modprobe will automatically unload a
       stack of modules, similar to the way rmmod -r does.

       Option -l combined with option -t list all available  mod-
       ules  of  a certain type.  An enhanced mount command could
       use the command

            modprobe -l -t fs

       to get the list of all file system drivers  available  and
       on  request  load  the  proper one.  So, the mount command
       could become more generic as well...  (The  kerneld  solve
       this without changing the mount utility)

       Option -c will print all configuration (default + configu-
       ration file).

       The  normal  use  of  depmod  is  to  include   the   line
       "/sbin/depmod  -a" in one of the rc-files in /etc/rc.d, so
       that the correct module  dependencies  will  be  available
       immediately after booting the system.
       Note  that  it  is  also possible to create the dependency
       file immediately after compiling a new kernel.  If you  do
       "depmod  -a  1.3.99"  when you have compiled kernel 1.3.99
       and its modules the first time, while still  running  e.g.
       1.3.98, the file will be created in the correct place.
       Note  however that the dependencies on the kernel will not
       be guaranteed to be correct in this case!

       Option -d put depmod in debug mode. It outputs all command
       it  is  issuing.  Option -e outputs the list of unresolved
       symbol for each module, Normally depmod  only  output  the
       list of unloadable modules.  Option -v outputs the list of
       all processed modules. If the -i option is specified, dep-
       mod  does  not  report  errors caused by mismatched symbol
       version.  This can be usefull if a kernel is specified, or
       -m  is used. The -m option must be followed by the path of
       a type file, which depmod then uses for  symbol
       information instead of the currently running kernel.  Mod-
       ules may be located at different place in the  filesystem,
       but there will always be some need to override this, espe-
       cially for module developers.   We  expect  some  official
       standard  will  emerge, defined by the FSSTND.  Until that
       time you might as well use this suggested directory struc-

       The  behaviour  of  depmod and modprobe can be adjusted by
       the (optional) configuration file /etc/conf.modules

       The configuration file consists of a set of lines.
       All empty lines, and all text on a line after a '#',  will
       be ignored.
       Lines may be continued by ending the line with a '\'.
       The  remaining lines should all conform to one of the fol-
       lowing formats:

         options module symbol=value ...
         alias module real_name
         pre-install module command ...
         install module command ...
         post-install module command ...
         pre-remove module command ...
         remove module command ...
         post-remove module command ...

       All values in the "parameter" lines will be processed by a
       shell, which means that "shell tricks" like wild-cards and
       commands enclosed in back-quotes can be used:

         path[net]=/lib/modules/`uname -r`

       Parameters may be repeated multiple times.

       These are the legal parameters:

       keep   If this word is found on a line  before  any  lines
              that contain the path descriptions, the default set
              of paths will be saved, and thus added to.   Other-
              wise  the  normal behaviour is that the default set
              will be replaced by the set of paths in the config-
              uration file.

              This  is  the path to the dependency file that will
              be created by depmod and used by modprobe.

              The path parameter specifies a directory to  search
              for the modules.

              The path parameter can carry an optional tag.  This
              tells us a little more about  the  purpose  of  the
              modules in this directory and allows some automated
              operations by modprobe.  The tag is appended to the
              "path"  keyword enclose in square brackets.  If the
              tag is missing, the tag "misc" is assumed.
              One very useful tag is boot, which can be  used  to
              mark  all  modules  that  should be loaded at boot-

       If the configuration file '/etc/conf.modules' is  missing,
       or  if  any  parameter  is  not  overridden, the following
       defaults are assumed:

         depfile=/lib/modules/`uname -r`/modules.dep

         path[fs]=/lib/modules/`uname -r`
         path[misc]=/lib/modules/`uname -r`
         path[net]=/lib/modules/`uname -r`
         path[scsi]=/lib/modules/`uname -r`
         path[cdrom]=/lib/modules/`uname -r`
         path[ipv4]=/lib/modules/`uname -r`
         path[ipv6]=/lib/modules/`uname -r`
         path[sound]=/lib/modules/`uname -r`



       All "option" lines specify the default  options  that  are
       needed for a module, as in:

         modprobe de620 bnc=1

       These  options  will be overridden by any options given on
       the modprobe command line.
       It is possible to have an "option" line for aliased module
       names as well as for the non-aliased name.  This is useful
       for e.g. the dummy module:

         alias dummy0 dummy
         options dummy0 -o dummy0

       The "alias" lines can be used to give alias names to  mod-
       ules.  A line in /etc/conf.modules that looks like this:

         alias iso9660 isofs

       makes it possible to write modprobe iso9660 although there
       is no such module available.
       Note that the line:

         alias some_module off

       will make modprobe ignore requests to  load  that  module.
       This is usually used in conjunction with kerneld.

              The configuration lines
                pre-install module command ...
                install module command ...
                post-install module command ...
                pre-remove module command ...
                remove module command ...
                post-remove module command ...
              can  be  used when one wants some specific commands
              to  be  executed  when  a  module  is  inserted  or
              removed.   All  text  after the module name will be
              interpreted as the command text.
              Note that the pre- and  post-remove  commands  will
              not  be  executed  if  a module is "autocleaned" by
              kerneld!  Look for the up-coming support  for  per-
              sistent module storage instead.

       The idea is that modprobe will look first at the directory
       containing modules compiled for the current release of the
       kernel.   If  the module is not found there, modprobe will
       look in the directory containing  modules  for  a  default

       When  you install a new linux, the modules should be moved
       to a directory related to the release (and version) of the
       kernel  you  are installing.  Then you should do a symlink
       from this directory to the "default" directory.

       Each time you compile a new kernel, the command make  mod-
       ules_install will create a new directory, but won't change
       the default.

       When you get a module unrelated to the kernel distribution
       you  should  place  it  in  one of the version-independent
       directories under /lib/modules.

       This is the default strategy, which can be  overridden  in

       modprobe -t net
              Load  one  of  the  modules  that are stored in the
              directory tagged  "net".   Each  module  are  tried
              until one succeed (default: /lib/modules/net).

       modprobe -a -t boot
              All modules that are stored in the directory tagged
              "boot" will be loaded (default: /lib/modules/boot).

       modprobe slip.o
              This  will  attempt to load the module slhc.o if it
              was not previously loaded, since  the  slip  module
              needs  the  functionality in the slhc module.  This
              dependency will be  described  in  the  file  "mod-
              ules.dep" that was created automatically by depmod

       modprobe -r slip.o
              will  unload  slip.o.  It  will  also unload slhc.o
              automatically, unless it is used by some other mod-
              ule as well (like e.g. ppp.o).

       /etc/conf.modules, (and /etc/modules.conf)

       lsmod(1), kerneld(8), ksyms(1), modules(2),

       insmod(1), nm(1) rmmod(1),

       The  pattern supplied to modprobe will often be escaped to
       ensure that it is evaluated in the proper context

       Jacques Gelinas (
       Bjorn Ekwall (


Linux                     March 17, 1996                        1