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Paul Mackerras Archive

How To Make Sure Your Driver Will Work On The Power Macintosh
There is an increasing number of people running Linux on their Power Macintoshes. One of the advantages of running Linux (as opposed to other variants of UNIX) on a Power Mac is that the Linux source includes drivers for a large number of PCI cards. All of the current Power Macs use the PCI bus as their internal I/O bus and many have PCI expansion card slots, allowing users to install any of the wide range of PCI expansion cards which are available today. The drivers in the Linux source will usually work on a Power Mac, but often only after some tweaking. The problem is usually that the driver author has made some assumptions that are true on an Intel PC but not on other machines. In this column, I will discusses some of those assumptions and how driver authors can make sure that their drivers will work not only on an Intel PC, but also on the Power Mac and other machines.