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Linux 5.16 Introducing Ability For A Driver To Probe Hardware While Powered Off

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  • Linux 5.16 Introducing Ability For A Driver To Probe Hardware While Powered Off

    Phoronix: Linux 5.16 Introducing Ability For A Driver To Probe Hardware While Powered Off

    Last week saw the main set of ACPI and power management changes for Linux 5.16 while merged on Wednesday were a secondary set of updates. Notable on the ACPI side are some changes in preparing for allowing Linux drivers to "probe" hardware while being powered off...

    Phoronix, Linux Hardware Reviews, Linux hardware benchmarks, Linux server benchmarks, Linux benchmarking, Desktop Linux, Linux performance, Open Source graphics, Linux How To, Ubuntu benchmarks, Ubuntu hardware, Phoronix Test Suite

  • #2
    I think it would be much better just to light the LED only during video or audio streaming, just like my 10 years-old Logitech cameras do.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by phoronix View Post
      With some web cameras, powering up the web camera will (obviously) result in the camera's privacy LED lighting up too. For security reasons, the camera privacy LED is not normally controllable by the operating system software. But to avoid interrupting the user's experience and thinking Linux or something may be spying on them when the system is booting, there is this desire to probe a device while powered off. The privacy LED lighting in the current behavior normally is very brief but this would eliminate the need to turn on the camera while loading the kernel driver.
      Kinda smells like possible backdoor...

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      • #4
        Next step. Probing disconnected devices not yet inside PC. And then these still in their wrapping. Linux is amazing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by piorunz View Post
          Next step. Probing disconnected devices not yet inside PC. And then these still in their wrapping. Linux is amazing.
          Sure, and with a little web services magic... voilĂ ... you browse a new card in a webshop and it appears in your lspci output ! And right after checkout you can already use it through NBD while it's shipping to you!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Vavooom View Post
            I think it would be much better just to light the LED only during video or audio streaming, just like my 10 years-old Logitech cameras do.
            That doesn't cover taking pictures with it!
            And what if the software just takes many pictures with it, like 24 pictures per second ?

            I would actually leave it at every access to the webcam to make the LED turn on and even extend the time it stays on to be able to notice short accesses like taking pictures.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Vavooom View Post
              I think it would be much better just to light the LED only during video or audio streaming, just like my 10 years-old Logitech cameras do.
              One can always design the LED to shine different colour for standby mode versus capturing mode.

              For true paranoid / security-conscious, they don't trust the webcam chip nor the proprietary firmware. They want a physical switch to physically unplug this and the mic when not in use.

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              • #8
                If the device can be probed, it's powered on. At least partially and/or in low power mode. But is powered on.
                Obviously this is more about devices that can be in multiple 'powered on' modes, not powered off.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Danny3 View Post

                  That doesn't cover taking pictures with it!
                  And what if the software just takes many pictures with it, like 24 pictures per second ?

                  I would actually leave it at every access to the webcam to make the LED turn on and even extend the time it stays on to be able to notice short accesses like taking pictures.
                  Sorry, forgot to mention this case, although I'm pretty sure the LED also indicates when a photo was made.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by phoron View Post

                    Sure, and with a little web services magic... voilĂ ... you browse a new card in a webshop and it appears in your lspci output ! And right after checkout you can already use it through NBD while it's shipping to you!

                    Ultimate test before you buy! check lspci and drivers of that card in the shop so see if it's compatible with your PC before you buy it.

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